THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thursday, May 11, 2017

(The House of Representatives was called to order at 10: 30 o'clock a. m. , Representative Joe Aresimowicz of the 30th District in the Chair. )

CLERK:

The House of Representatives will convene immediately. Members to the Chamber.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Will the House please come to order? [Gavel] Will the members, staff, and guest please direct your attention to the Dais where Father Charles Jacobs, will lead us in prayer.

DEPUTY CHAPLAIN FATHER CHARLES JACOBS:

Wherever we are, God is. And so, let us pray. Lord, bless this House of Representatives as they come together to work on behalf of the better good for the people of this state and to this prayer, please respond, amen. Thank you.

REPRESENTATIVES:

(All) Amen.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Father. Would Representative Winkler of the 56th District, please come to the Dais to lead us in the pledge of allegiance.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

(All) I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God invisible with liberty and justice for all.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Are there any announcements or introductions? This starting on time is throwing everybody off. No announcements or introductions? Any announcements or introductions? Will the Clerk please call House Calendar 317 -- oh, yes, that's right, I'm sorry.

Mr. Clerk, is there any business on your desk?

CLERK:

Yes, Mr. Speaker. The only business on the Clerk's desk is the daily Calendar.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

And you probably need that, if I'm going to ask you to call a bill for me, correct, Mr. Clerk?

Let's try that again. Will the Clerk please call House Calendar 317.

CLERK:

State of Connecticut House of Representatives Calendar, Thursday, May 11, 2017. On page 24, House Calendar 317, AN ACT CONCERNING ENDORSEMENTS OF TOWN COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND CLARIFYING RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN STATE OFFICE CANDIDATES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Government Administration and Elections.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Clerk. Keeping you busy this morning. Representative Winkler of the 56th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

Mr. Speaker, I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Winkler, you have the floor.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

This bill would remove the requirement that every member of a town committee sign their endorsement before the list of town committee members was filed with the town Clerk. It would also clear up some language concerning a residency requirement, which you could interpret to read that in multi-town districts you have to be a resident of every town.

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment, LCO 6878. I would ask the Clerk to please call the amendment and that I be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO No. 6878, which is designated House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A, LCO No. 6878, offered by Representative Fox, Representative Winkler, Representative Devlin.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? Hearing none, Representative Winkler, you may proceed, sir.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

This amendment would clear up language concerning when a vacancy exists due to resignation or death. The town committee would inform the Secretary of State of their endorsement, and under this amendment, the State of Connecticut would be required to forward that to the town Clerks. And I want to thank the ranking Republican member of the GAE Committee for the work she did to improve this amendment and this bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Winkler, I assume you move for adoption of the amendment?

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

Yes, I do move for adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Representative Devlin.

REP. DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in support of this amendment. This does make some commonsense changes to this bill for some consistency in the technical language and it is a good amendment that we support. I encourage my members to also do the same.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you remark further? Will you remark further? Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Oh, yes, thank you, Madam Speaker. If perhaps in order for me to understand this amendment I could just ask a couple of questions of the proponent, through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Winkler, please prepare yourself. Representative O'Neill, you may proceed, sir.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you. We're obviously making a relatively substantial language change, starting in lines 47 through 53. And I guess I'm trying to understand what is the problem that this language is designed to correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Winkler.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

Yes. In a say multi-town district, if a candidate is endorsed by a variety of town committees, how is the notification handled and what we're doing in this is we are centralizing notification in the Secretary of State's office with the requirement that the State of Connecticut gets back to every town Clerk concerning -- with a copy of the endorsement.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, what is the current practice in a multi-town district, when a vacancy occurs by virtue of death or resignation? What's the current procedure?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Winkler.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

Well, you could argue that every -- through you, Madam Speaker. You could argue that every town committee has its own endorsement and it's not crystal clear how the final combined endorsement would be handled.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I guess having gone through a resignation myself, I was elected in the special election a long time ago and I thought the rules have changed, may have changed, but the recent ones that I've participated in where there have been replacements; for example, in the 68th District, which is a multi-town, a two-town district, my recollection is that a convention of -- which was the previous convention is reconvened and that is what does the endorsement of the candidate for the election, the special election to fill the vacancy. Is this going to change that procedure so the convention is no longer called back into session?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Winkler.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

Madam Speaker, it is my understanding that that has not changed.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, what endorsement is the town Committee doing that they would be at the present time, apparently filing with the local town Clerk, but under the amendment would be filing with the State of Connecticut; what is that endorsement?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Winkler.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The Representative is correct. I have misstated -- the endorsement, all this bill requires is that the Secretary of State share the endorsement with the town Clerks of all the towns. It's the communications more than any effect on the endorsement process.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And just to be clear because again it was my understanding that in a multi-town district the filing of the endorsement document has always been with the Secretary of State. Within a single-town district, I gather, that at least it was at one time locally with the town Clerk. But so, this does not change; does this change? Through you, Madam Speaker, does this change the process of having the convention endorsement be filed with the State of Connecticut anyway?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Winkler.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

Yes, thank you for the question and thank you, Madam Speaker. No, it simply requires that the Secretary of State send that notice to the town Clerks.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the answers. It does seem like if this was not being done, then my recollection is that it usually was done interest the past, but perhaps there were cases when that was not done and certainly it makes sense to have the town Clerks all be notified. I vividly remember my town Clerk searching high and low looking for my special election opponent's endorsement papers, which only arrived in the Secretary of State's office at about 15 minutes before the deadline. So, she made sure that I did not run unopposed in that first election, which she thought would be what I wanted.

So, thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, I will try your minds. All those in favor, please signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

(All) Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Opposed nay. The ayes have it. [Gavel] The amendment passed.

Will you remark further on the bill? Representative Winkler.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

Yes, Madam Speaker. I ask that the bill be passed. It's a good bill. And the town Committee Chairpersons and secretaries want it to pass. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further on the Bill as amended? Representative Devlin.

REP. DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair. Two comments I'd make regarding this amended bill, which I do rise in support of. It does two important things. One, you know, sometimes we pass legislation that has unintended consequences, one of those happened not too long ago, which resulted in requiring town committee members get signatures for endorsement. And what this does is removes that requirement, so it really encourages greater local participation. The other piece that it does is provide for consistency in how nominations are filed.

So, this is sort of the last piece for single-town districts to also now be filed with the Secretary of State's office. We did, as a Committee, worked with the Secretary of State's office, also the Association of Town Clerks and this does provide consistency that will benefit everybody. So, I do support the amended bill and encourage my members to do the same. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you remark further? Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair, and good to see you up there this morning.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir, good morning to you.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you. Through you, I just wanted to make a comment. This bill I think is a timely bill, like the good Representative just said. This bill was the -- the law was passed and did have unintended consequences. I saw firsthand in our own town Committee and I was asked by our Registrar of Voters if something could be done about this law, and it was a pleasure to see this was on the docket and I support the bill as well. So, thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Will you remark further? Representative Winkler, did you care to remark, sir.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

No, Madam Chairwoman.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Seeing no further remarks, will staff and guests, please come to the well of the House. Members please take your seats and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber. The House of Representatives is voting by roll, members to the Chamber.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Please check the board to determine if your vote has been properly cast. If so, the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally, please. And, Mr. Clerk, please announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 7164 as Amended by House A.

Total Number of Voting 135

Necessary for Passage 68

Those Voting Yea 135

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 16

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The bill as amended passes. [Gavel]

Are there any announcements or introductions? Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Sredzinski, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and good morning.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good morning to you.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

I'm joined today by the First Selectman of one of the towns that I represent, Monroe, Steven Vavrek, and I have introduced him before on the floor. But today is kind of a special day because he is here with COST doing some advocacy. And what's even more special is that First Selectman Vavrek has announced his retirement after serving his eight years as our First Selectman in Monroe, but more than that, he has served on the Board of Finance, the Town Council, and numerous boards and commissions, including AYSO as a volunteer commissioner. So, I'd just like to thank First Selectman Vavrek for his decades of service to the town of Monroe and the State of Connecticut. And I will just ask all of our colleagues to give him our warm welcome. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sredzinski, would you like to read that?

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Sure, Madam Speaker, with your indulgence. Official Citation, be it hereby known to all that the General Assembly offers its sincerest congratulations to Steven J. Vavrek, for your decades of service to the town of Monroe, the greater Bridgeport region, and the State of Connecticut. As the First Selectman of the town of Monroe, the community saw years of consistent leadership that will be very hard to replicate. As an advocate for small towns, your input has been invaluable. We thank you for all you have done and salute your accomplishments. The entire membership extends its very best wishes on this memorable occasion and expresses the hope for continued success. Given this 11th day of May 2017. Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir, and thank you, Steve for your service to the town of Monroe. I'm sure you will be sorely missed and definitely thank you for all that you've done serving on all those boards.

STEPHEN J. VAVREK:

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Are there any further announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions? If not, we will return to the call of the Calendar and with that will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 472.

CLERK:

On page 39, Calendar 472, Substitute Senate Bill No. 844, AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTHS RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING REVISIONS TO THE STATUTES CONCERNING THE HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Public Health.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is --

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

The Senate's bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is passage of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This bill makes technical changes to the statutes as they relate to the prenatal testing for HIV and syphilis reflecting the Department of Public Health's current best practices on the timeframe in which to implement such testing and it is also consistent with the Centers for Disease Control recommendations. I move passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark? The wonderful Ranking Member of Public Health, Representative, Dr. Srinivasan, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, good morning, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good morning to you, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Good to see you there, as usual.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Well, I could say what Deputy Speaker Ryan said yesterday, but I won't. [Laughter]

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker, just a few questions to the proponent of this bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If you could just enlarge on what happens with this bill in terms of timeframe as to when the testing, the prenatal testing is going to be done? A, for syphilis, B for HIV, compared to current practices?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, through you. That's an excellent question. Current statute requires that the prenatal testing occur during the third trimester and that both HIV and syphilis be tested in the same window. Based upon current knowledge of gestation science, they have separated the timeframes, the windows for testing; a separate window for HIV and a separate window for syphilis. Again, within the third trimester, but they are not the same windows precisely.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So, through you, Madam Speaker. We are not increasing the number of times a woman is being tested, either for syphilis or for HIV. What we are changing is just the timeframe when these tests happen.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

That is correct. Though, I will add that there is still the testing post-delivery, which was part of the statute previously.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. There also is a testing at the very first visit, at the time that the woman is found to be pregnant. Through you, Madam Speaker. That doesn't change.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. We have not changed that section of the statute.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. One of the reasons why both these tests, in the past, were done at the same time was for compliance reasons. You know, you worry that the pregnant lady may not be coming in for those checkups as frequently as she should be. We don't want to miss that window. Through you, Madam Speaker. If one of these tests are done and the other test is not done because of the change of the schedule, how do we compensate for that and do not miss either the syphilis nor the HIV?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for that question, through you. I'm not an expert. Certainly, these are recommendations and guidelines. I think these windows are indicated because they represent our best understanding of when we can evaluate through the testing procedure whether it's passed from the mother to the child, but I am not sufficiently an expert to go much beyond that.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It is my understanding that if these tests are not done at the appropriate intervals, the ones that we are changing now, we will require that those tests be done when the woman presents herself at the time of labor and delivery; will that change?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, through you, Madam Speaker. Again, we are only changing the sections that relate to the testing during the third trimester, the post-delivery testing remains in the statute.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker, just so that I'm clear. We are not talking about post-delivery; we are still in the pre-delivery phase. What we now require is if these tests are not done at these intervals, when the woman comes for labor and delivery, prior to delivery, of course, that these tests are done as well; if they were not done at the appropriate interval. Does this bill change that in any way?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, it does not change other sections of the statute.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. We also look at lines 105 to 108. If we could look at those lines, which have been deleted. Through you, Madam Speaker. So, these lines, which have been deleted, which basically says that the individual has a right to refuse the results of the testing, the partner. Has that changed in this bill?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you. I'm not aware of any changes related to that particular stipulation.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If the kind Representative could look at lines 105 to 108, in the original bill, which have been deleted. So, that is what I'm referring to. Through you, Madam Speaker. Has that deletion not occurred?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Madam Speaker. I'm not looking at a copy of the bill with the line numbers. Could the good Representative please indicate section and subsection?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It's Section 3, and it is Subsection C.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Bear with me, one moment, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Chamber will stand at ease. The Chamber will come back to order. Representative Steinberg, you have the floor, sir.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair, for that moment. I've looked at the requisite section and my understanding, it doesn't change the underlying purpose of the testing and that was not considered necessary in the revision of the bill.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Maybe, I know that I'm not clear on the answer on that, but it is important for us to know and that, through you, Madam Speaker, maybe something that we could address as we move on. Obviously voiding it out today, but something we could address as we move on as to what component, what happens when a person refuses to get the results of the test. Because as you can imagine, Madam Speaker, the partner, the protected partner, needs to know as to what the results, what the positive test results are both in syphilis as well as in HIV. And if that partner refuses to get those results, which is what we are allowing to do, as I understand this bill, my concern would be in the spread of either the HIV or syphilis through the partner who has not accepted the results and so does not know whether he is positive or not and that is my concern. But that is something that we could definitely address and I'm sure the good Chair will bring it up to DPH and we can address that as we move on.

Through you, Madam Speaker. What we're also changing here is the change of the Needle Program to Syringe Service Programs, that what we call this in this bill. Is it just a name change or is there any functionality to that?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, that's a good question. My understanding is that a change in nomenclature, which reflects current best use of the language as it relates to what we formerly referred to as Needles, but Syringes is actually a more accurate description for this context.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

And through you, Madam Speaker, my final question is, in the public hearing, to the best of my knowledge, I did not hear any opposition. Is the good Chair aware of any opposition to this bill as it moved through the public hearing process?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you, Madam Chair, thank you for that question, Representative. It did pass the Public Health Committee unanimously and I understand it also passed unanimously in the senate.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I want to thank the good Chair for the work that he's put into this bill and I urge my colleagues, both sides of the aisle to support this important piece of legislation; where by changing the timeframe when these tests are done, we hopefully will get better outcomes as we are able to treat either one of those entities individually and prevent most importantly what we are concerned about, the transmission to the unborn child. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Representative Srinivasan. Will you care to remark further on the bill that is before us? Will you care to remark further on the bill before us? If not -- Representative Dauphinias, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. DAUPHINAIS (44TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair. A question for the proponent, if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. DAUPHINAIS (44TH):

My question is, is the only thing that's changed is the timeline of which we have an existing bill that is already in place that we're changing the timeline in terms of when someone should be tested?

Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you, Madam Chair. That is correct. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Dauphinais.

REP. DAUPHINAIS (44TH):

Okay. Thank you. I appreciate it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will you care to remark further on the bill before us? Will you care to remark further on the bill before us? If not, staff and guests, please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open.

CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber. The House of Representatives is voting by roll, members to the Chamber.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. And will the Clerk please announce the tally?

CLERK:

Senate Bill 844.

Total Number of Voting 141

Necessary for Passage 71

Those Voting Yea 141

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 10

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The bill passes in concurrence with the Senate. [Gavel] Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 269.

CLERK:

On page 18, Calendar 269, House Bill 7208, AN ACT CONCERNING THE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY PROGRAM. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy and Technology.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Reed, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. REED (102ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Reed.

REP. REED (102ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This bill updates and clarifies some key provisions in our very successful commercial property clean energy program known as C-PACE for short and not to be confused with any other PACE legislation you people have been hearing about. This is a very successful program that we've had in effect for years. The C-PACE program has enabled businesses, non-profits, churches, and a wide variety of other commercial entities to finance a wide variety of energy-saving improvements. And they're able to do this by paying for these improvements through loans that are collateralized with their property taxes. Only towns and lenders who chose to participate in this program do so, and it is incredibly popular.

This bill was requested by our first-in-the-nation Connecticut Green Bank, which administers this very successful program. It received the unanimous approval of the Energy and Technology Committee. It has no fiscal note. And I urge my colleagues to support it. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Representative Jesse McLachlan, good morning, sir, and for what purpose do you rise?

REP. MACLACHLAN (35TH):

Good morning, Madam Speaker, thank you. I rise to recuse myself from the debate and the vote in order to avoid a conflict of interest. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Chamber will stand at ease. The Chamber will come back to order. And Representative Zupkus, for what purpose do you rise, Madam.

REP. ZUPKUS (89TH):

Thank you, Ms. Speaker. I rise. I would like to recuse myself from this piece of legislation due to a possible conflict of interest.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Chamber will, once again, stand at ease. Okay. The Chamber will now come back to order. And will you care to remark further on the bill before us? Representative Hoydick, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you for your indulgence. I rise in support of this bill. This bill passed out of Committee unanimously. It is, as the good Chair of Energy mentioned, an extension of the program to include new construction and make some technical changes with the financing model. And I urge my colleagues' support.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark further on the bill before us? Further on the bill? Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Good morning, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

There you are. Good morning, sir.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you. Through you, a couple of questions to the proponent of the legislation.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you. And to the good Chair of Energy and Technology, on line 10, the term “improvement” was included. And through you, looking for the broad sense of that, but in case of a commercial property that I wanted to put solar on, in that case; and I'm going to put solar on it, but in the discussion of it, they needed -- they said, well, the roof or structure support cannot handle the solar. So, would that improvement be included in this loan?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Reed.

REP. REED (102ND):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I think all of these things, and that's one of the wonderful things about this program. They are individually negotiated contracts and what this does is it expands into the point of the good former Ranking Member of Energy and Technology. It expands it to include new construction. So, that makes sense. So, now we're going to do clean energy, smart energy from get-go on new construction and not waiting to engage C-PACE to do retrofits on construction that is not as efficient.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you to the good lady for the answer. I had a great opportunity to go see some of the good work done by this program. And being somebody in the trades and seeing the thoughts about some of the work, one of the ones that they did is that they literally go and look at all the HVAC and motors in industrial use and in manufacturing and they actually laser-guide the motors and the belts so that they use less drag and energy and I was very impressed with that. And this is actually part of this benefit and improvement and really saved a manufacturer a lot of money on their energy. So, that aspect of it, I was very impressed with. Really, the only additional question I had was the term that was added, multiple location was “benefit assessment. ” Through you, Madam Speaker, may I ask the good lady what the term, the sense of “benefit assessment?”

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Reed.

REP. REED (102ND):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I believe that's just a clarification of the term so that they can use a third-party lender as well. So, you know, obviously, they can maybe do a power purpose agreement through a utility. There are other entities who want to invest in this. This is one of the reasons that it's been so successful is everybody wants to participate. It's an exciting program. It does wonderful things for businesses and non-profits and for churches, the faith community. So, everyone is excited about this. And that's what that does.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And there has been great support and a lot of our facilities have saved a lot of money through this program and the wonderful Green Bank that we've used. So, I'd like to thank the ranking member and also the good Chair of Energy and Technology for their continued good work in this Committee. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the bill before us? Will you care to remark further on the bill before us? If not, staff and guests, please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open.

CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber. The House of Representatives is voting by roll, members to the Chamber.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Please check the board to determine if your vote has been properly cast. If so, the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. Oh, hello, Tony, take your time.

If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally, please. And will the Clerk please announce the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7208.

Total Number of Voting 140

Necessary for Passage 71

Those Voting Yea 135

Those Voting Nay 5

Absent and Not Voting 11

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

And the bill passes. [Gavel] Will the Clerk, where's Sean? Are there any announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions? Representative Arthur O'Neill of the 69th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Yes, thank you, Madam Speaker. For the purpose of an introduction to the Chamber, as you know, the Council of Small Towns was up here today working on various pieces of legislation affecting towns. With us in the well of the House is the First Selectman of the town of Southbury, Jeff Manville. Jeff, if you could stand up. Lifelong resident of Southbury and in the past, you give him, as you've already done, his warm welcome as we usually do. Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir, and welcome to the Chamber. Are there any further announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions? If not, we will return to the call of the Calendar. And will the Clerk please call House Calendar No. 243.

CLERK:

On page 16, House Calendar 243, Substitute House Bill No. 7126, AN ACT CONCERNING MOTOR VEHICLES AND LIVERY SERVICE, TAXICABS, AND TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Real Estate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Good morning, just about, Madam Speaker. I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Clerk has an amendment before you, LCO 6917. I would ask the Clerk to please call the amendment and that I be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6917, which will be designated as House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A, LCO No. 6917, offered by Representative Scanlon and Senator Larson.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize. Is there objection? Seeing none, Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This amendment is a strike-all amendment that basically replaces the original bill. We're going to have, I believe, a substantial conversation about that bill. So, I will keep my comments brief, but in overall summary, I would just say that there are two platforms that are known as transportation network companies that exist and operate in our state. They are more popularly known as Uber, and they are more popularly known as Lift. These companies have been operating in our state and doing great services, I might add, for many, many residents across our state that love to use Uber and Lift.

The issue is that they have been completely unregulated. And I believe that we have an obligation for consumer safety, for consumer protection to pass a bill that we are about to discuss that would bring about comprehensive regulation for these two companies that doesn't stifle their growth, it doesn't stifle their ability to call up an Uber app or a Lift app to get from point A to point B as many people do, myself included. It simply just puts in place some consumer protections that I believe will keep Connecticut residents safe and to keep using a service that they love. With that said, I will move adoption on the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is on adoption. Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I was just handed this document 24 pages long. I have no idea what's in it. We're supposed to be voting on this today. I think there is a big problem here. The problem is that we get this legislation dumped in front of us and are expected to have been able to prepare and speak logically and be able to debate these bills, when literally I've just been handed this thing, 24 pages long. And it went through insurance. This is a bill that deals with transportation, but it went through the Insurance Committee.

This is what pisses people off in my district. And they ask me about these bills, well, why did you vote against something? Well, I voted against it because I had no time to read it. I don't know what's in it. I don't think anybody in this room knows what's in this piece of paper. Maybe there is a couple of people that do.

This is not, in my view, how we should be putting through legislation that is going to be affecting every person in this state. Now, my understanding is that this amendment just came out about an hour ago, an hour-and-a-half ago, and during that time, we were doing other bills. So, I was reading and preparing on other bills.

So, how is it that suddenly we get a 24-page amendment and suddenly we're going to be expected to be knowledgeable enough to vote on it? This is a broken system. This is not how a legislature should operate. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative Belsito, you have the floor, sir.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise to oppose this amendment. In case you people, whoever wrote this amendment don't know it, we are here to represent the people of the State of Connecticut. And this is not the way we represent them, by putting forth a 24-page amendment, which nobody knows what it's about except for the individuals who wrote this amendment.

And once again, I want to say, we are here for the people of Connecticut. And this is not the way you represent the people of Connecticut. I would suggest that the proponent withdraw this amendment and sit down because it is not a good amendment because nobody has read it. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will you care to remark further on the amendment before us? On the amendment before us? Representative Ferraro of West Haven, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would say the amendment is a strike-all amendment and the amendment becomes the bill. Let's vote on the amendment and let's discuss the bill. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will you care to remark further on the amendment before us? Will you care to remark further on the amendment before us? Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Good morning, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good morning, afternoon.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

The amendment before us is a strike-all amendment, and I would just say that the plan was that we would have a vote on the amendment and then get to the substance and debate the bill. My expectation is that it's likely to pass, even if it happens on a party-line vote. I can't really suggest to vote, one way or the other on the amendment, since we're going to have the opportunity to vote on the same language twice. And I would like to make sure that we have a good dialogue, once the amendment is adopted. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the amendment before us? On the amendment before us, would you care to remark? If not, let me try your minds. All of those in favor, please signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

All those opposed, nay.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Nay.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Chair is in doubt. I'm ordering a roll call vote on House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber. The House of Representatives is voting by roll, members to the Chamber.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Please check the board to determine if your vote has been properly cast. If so, the machine will be locked and Mr. Clerk, please take a tally. And would you please announce the tally.

CLERK:

House A.

Total Number of Voting 143

Necessary for Passage 72

Those Voting Yea 108

Those Voting Nay 35

Absent and Not Voting 8

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The amendment passes. [Gavel] Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

So, as was just mentioned, we are now speaking on the amended bill, which was a strike-all. So, the amendment essentially became the bill. The first couple of sections kind of lay out the definitions that are used throughout the language of the bill and also the kind of notion of the fact that we're creating a construct of regulations to regulate the transportation network company industry.

So, I'll start with a couple of questions to my good friend, who is the Chairman of the Insurance Committee regarding those first couple of sections.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you. So, in I think the beginning of Section 2, it talks about the registration of transportation network companies. And I'm hoping that the Chairman could describe for me exactly the process by which a transportation network company becomes registered in the State of Connecticut?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The process is simply that the TNC company or potential TNC company would have to go to the Department of Transportation, fill out a form that the commissioner has created, and then pay an initial fee of $ 50,000 to register their TNC and that fee becomes a $ 5,000 fee annually every year after that that they continue to operate in the State of Connecticut.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the Chairman for that answer. So, I guess I have a broader question, which is, what exactly are we regulating in this language in the bill? Because I notice that there is language about transportation network companies and also taxicabs, but it seems to me that those industries are treated very differently within this bill and their separate sections.

So, to the Chairman, through you, Madam Speaker. What exactly is this bill intended to regulate and are we treating these industries the same?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

In this specific instance, in Section 2, what we're trying to accomplish is the fact that since 2014, both of these companies have been operating completely unregulated in the State of Connecticut. And right now, the model that -- the business model that Uber and Lift have is they show up in a municipality or a state, they start to operate, and they are completely unregulated.

So, under this specific section, Section 2, all we're trying to accomplish is that the company that is a TNC, whether it's Uber, Lift or, you know, Sean Scanlon TNC Company, has to go to the Department of Transportation and fill out a form, register with the state, pay a fee to enter the market, and go about their business as a TNC company.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the description. Although, it's pretty clear from that we are attempting to regulate transportation network companies or TNCs, I think I'll start using that term, it might be a little easier, in a way that is different from taxicabs.

So, a couple of further questions about this regulation process. Are we only concerned with rides that happen within the confines of the State of Connecticut? And if that's the case, is there any regulation that extends beyond Connecticut in the bill before us? For example, if someone is picked up for a ride in maybe Northern Connecticut by the Massachusetts border, but their destination is in Massachusetts, would this regulation apply in that case?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I believe there is nothing in the bill specifically laying out what happens when a TNC crosses state lines. But I believe that other states, like Massachusetts, for example, in that the Representative gave, do have their own laws governing how TNCs operate. But while the driver and the passenger were together in the State of Connecticut, these laws in this amendment would apply.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I heard the Chairman mention that the fee for the initial registration to become a registered TNC in Connecticut is $ 50,000. And I just find that a little shocking. I don't think there are many industries that we would charge so much for someone to become a registered business within our state. And I'm hoping he can speak to why that amount is so significant?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. This is the amount that represents an agreement between the two major TNC companies that exist in our state today, that we believe is appropriate for them to pay, given the fact that they are today paying absolutely nothing towards operating in our state. And this would allow the DOT to perform various functions at the staff level through the support of a fee such as this.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I don't want to debate whether or not they are paying anything, that's a separate issue. But I would say they most certainly are paying corporate income tax for the money that they generate in the state. It also says, on line 57, that the regulation form and fee, once submitted, the fee is nonrefundable. So, through you, Madam Speaker. Does that mean that if someone applied, they could be denied and still have to pay $ 50,000?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. There is nothing that states that directly.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would just suggest that on line 57, it does indeed use the word “Non-refundable regulation fee of $ 50,000. ” So, if the Chairman can explain to me what that language means?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It means it's a non-refundable fee.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate that. Except I don't want to beat a dead horse, but it seems to me that that means you could apply and be denied and still pay $ 50,000. I hope he'll correct me, if I'm wrong.

The larger point about this fee, I think, is that a $ 50,000 fee to enter a certain type of business might preclude other entrepreneurs from trying to get in and become competitors. Do you see, through you, Madam Speaker, that a $ 50,000 fee might become a barrier into entering into that marketplace?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. We have no idea to this point how many rides or drivers either of these two large TNC companies have in this state. But I have seen numbers that they have shared or have come out in other states across the country. Both of these companies are doing incredibly well as are, I believe, any person who enters a market frankly that is something people need on a daily basis. People need to get around. They need to go to work. They need to go pick up their kids. They need to go to dinner with their friends. There is always going to be a market for a transportation in our state and I believe that it is not a barrier to entry.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would say that every word that we put into our laws is a policy decision and this is no different. To state that we are going to require someone to enter this industry, must pay a $ 50,000 potentially non-refundable entrance fee, stands out to me as something that sends a message that we are inviting the two large players that can come into our state and pay this fee, but maybe the small guy, maybe Sean Scanlon TNC Company maybe doesn't have $ 50,000 hanging around to go ahead and start his company. And it also is going to mean that the only way you could survive as a TNC company would be that you have a sizeable market share. I think that's a dangerous precedent and I'll just leave it at that and move on.

So, Madam Speaker, in Section 3 of the bill, there are a couple of paragraphs about the requirements of TNC company riders and drivers. And I notice in the very beginning of Section 3 it says that after a rider submits a request for a pre-arranged ride, the company is going to display to that rider the driver that would pick them up, a photograph.

And I just have a couple of questions about this. How does the TNC obtain that photograph and how are we to know that that is a current photograph of that driver?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. When an individual applies to become a TNC driver, he or she has to provide certain information to the TNC company. One of the things that these companies require and we require under this bill is to provide a photograph of yourself as for whether or not there is anything in here requiring it has to be the most up-to-date photograph, there is nothing that does that.

However, I would say that on all these platforms, whether it's Uber, Lift, anybody else, there is a strong incentive for folks to give feedback in terms of rating their driver and the experience that they had. I believe that if someone was to get into an Uber and the picture was of Representative Sampson and they thought it was supposed to be of me, they may note that to the company and the company would then promptly investigate that, determine what's going on. And if it was found that somebody was driving using somebody else's partner app, I believe that they would be immediately dismissed from the rideshare platform.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate the answer, though I think that the decision that they would be immediately dismissed is a policy decision that they would have to make on their own. I don't think that we've included that in the bill before us.

I have a couple of questions about this picture situation and I will just ask them all and I hope that the Chairman can answer at least some of them. The first question is, how does the TNC company know that is, in fact, a photo of the actual person that they have subcontracted to be a driver? I'll ask them all in consideration of trying to not take up a lot of time.

The next one is, how does the rider know that that is indeed the actual person that's going to pick them up? And what happens if that's not the person? They're shown a picture and then someone else arrives and it's not that person; is there a mechanism to preclude someone else using that person's account? So, in other words, I have on my phone an app that belongs to someone else and I could go and pick up that person. Is there a mechanism to protect against that?

And ultimately, all of these questions have one concern in common and; that is, I believe it is incumbent upon us in this body to make sure that we are protecting consumers. And that includes both the drivers, who may or may not be in danger based on who they pick up, and the riders, based on who might meet them at a destination or at a pick-up location? Through you, Madam Speaker, if the Chairman can answer any of those questions, I'd appreciate it?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'll start with the Representative's second question. Why we, under this bill, ask that the driver have a photograph and their license plate depicted on the app itself is for the exact reason that Representative Sampson is talking about.

If we had somebody who was calling up an Uber to come to pick me up at the State Capitol right now and I see that the person is going to be in a 2017 Ford Fusion, they are, you know, a middle-aged woman and the license plate is X, Y, Z, the person comes up, they have an Uber sticker, it's a young man with a different license plate and a completely different car, we are entrusting the consumer to have enough judgement not to then get into that, given all of the upfront information we're giving them under this bill, which is the picture of what the driver is allegedly going to look like, their license plate, and the make and model of their car.

We chose not to legislate the intent or judgement of people here. I think that would have been very difficult to do and instead we put out a clear rubric that we believe if people follow and use their best judgement, they will be safer.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate the answers to the questions. Although I have to admit I find the response to be lacking in something that satisfies me as far as protection for consumers and drivers.

We already regulate the livery and taxicab industry pretty heavily for exactly those purposes. Significant requirements both for drivers, for background checks, which we'll talk about, and for identification on the vehicles, and we'll get to that in a moment too, about identification on TNC vehicles.

But to me these requirements here are pretty limited. There a hundred scenarios that one could come up with that might be dangerous to one or both parties based on the lack of direct knowledge of the image of that person and the use of the app or account by another person.

So, I'll get to that next thing, which is in Section 3, Subsection 2, it talks about the requirement to have a decal on the vehicle at all times when you are operating as a TNC driver. But I don't know that there is any mechanism for compliance. Is there any way to know? Can law enforcement know that someone is operating as a TNC driver, from the outside looking in, like they can tell a taxicab?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. There is nothing that's specifically in this section allows law enforcement to do that. But elsewhere in the bill, DOT is permissible to audit the company up to four times a year and see exactly who is driving for them and what's going on and they could then cross-check the information.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and again I thank the Chairman of the Insurance Committee for his answer. Again, the ability to audit after the fact is not the same thing as law enforcement's ability to know on-the-spot visually to know whether someone is complying with that law like they would have to in the taxicab industry.

There is also a requirement a little further down in Section 3 that the TNC company has to provide information about their rides and what has been picked up and receipts within a reasonable amount of time. Just out of curiosity, through you, Madam Speaker, what is determined to be reasonable in that case?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, that is obviously a very subjective definition. Though I would say, again, as I've tried to answer many of the Representative's questions, these are businesses. These are businesses that, like any business in the State of Connecticut, has to give good customer service in order to keep business. And so, in the case of many of these platforms, you're getting it immediately to your email. I won't say that every single platform that is going to become a TNC in the state will actually do that. But I would say that if people feel like it's not getting to them in a reasonable period of time, they can, as I said with the driver and the image and the license plate, there is a mechanism for the customer to give feedback about the ride that they just had. And if they feel like they didn't get a receipt or if they didn't get a reasonable period of time, there is a way that they can lodge a complaint against the company and try to make their voice heard in that instance.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and again I thank the Chairman. The only thing I would say about that is that we are doing a few different things in this bill. We are certainly regulating the TNC companies themselves. But this is an industry where consumers are directly impacted and we have chosen in the past in similar industries to regulate them heavily for protection of consumers. And I see that there are some holes here because the TNC company itself is just a data company. They are putting people together; whereas, there are independent contractors, average citizens, like the two of us talking here involved. And obviously, people vary in their trustworthiness. There are some mechanisms in the bill to provide for consumer protection with background checks and so forth. And as I said, we'll talk about that a little bit.

But some of these things that I've mentioned are places where there are vast differences between what we have chosen as regulation in the past to be sufficient and what we're allowing in this bill.

So, in line 96, it also makes it clear that the TNC may charge a fare. And I found that interesting because I don't know why we would indicate only a “may” in this instance and why would we bother to include it in the bill? I won't even ask a question about it though. Speaking of payment, on line 109 through 110, it makes it clear that no TNC company driver can accept a cash payment.

Now, I understand the intent of that language is probably to prevent TNC drivers from carrying large amounts of cash and become potential targets for a crime. However, I don't know if that's a legal thing to do. Our money says very clearly on it that is just payment for all debts public and/or private and I know that as courts across the country have litigated on this in the past and found that cash is an acceptable form of payment in all cases whatsoever.

So, I have some concern about this. And a further question about that is whether or not it is some sort of discrimination to say you must have a credit card to be able to use a TNC by virtue of the fact that they will not accept cash.

A little further down in Subsection 4(a), a mention is made of dynamic pricing. Through you, Madam Speaker, would the good Chairman explain to me what “dynamic pricing” is?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Dynamic pricing is essentially the classic example of supply and demand if there are more folks that are asking for service, the service itself can raise the price for that service. That's all well and good, that's a big component of what the TNCs do as a business model.

All we're saying in this bill to pre-butt what the Representative might ask me next, is that in certain situations we want to make sure that the dynamic pricing is not interfering with public safety. And that is why we capped it at two-and-a-half times the normal dynamic pricing charge that is allowed under Uber.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate that answer from the good Chairman. I sometimes get a little clairvoyant when I'm up here asking some questions, also.

So, I was going to get to that and I promise that I will. The one thing that I would point about the dynamic pricing piece, however, that people should understand, is that this is vastly different than how we treat taxicabs. In those cases, it is the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation who dictates what the pricing will be that they can charge.

In this case, the TNC company gets to determine whatever their rates are at any time through this mechanism of dynamic pricing; a noteworthy difference.

So, just to follow up on that piece that the Chairman referenced about price gouging. We've had some off-line conversations about this and what this bill says is that in no instance shall a TNC company increase their rate more than this two-and-a-half times figure in cases of emergency. And I understand the purpose of this. You do not want people charging exorbitant amounts if they are in a position to possibly rescue someone from a dangerous catastrophe somewhere.

However, I would say that this is a very dangerous thing to do because we are, in essence, regulating a private industry to tell them what they can charge for things. And it might have the exact opposite effect. If someone is in a position to take a great risk to themselves to save someone else's life, and they might be inclined to do that for a significant sum, and some person who might be in that much danger would be willing to pay it. I think it is dangerous for us to say, no, you can only charge two-and-a-half times. You may, in fact, be telling people not to go rescue those people. And I just think that's something we ought to be careful of going forward.

Speaking of choice in how people operate their business, it says early on in this bill that people that drive as drivers for TNC companies are not employees, they are independent contractors. Yet, in Section, Subsection(c) of Section 3, it says that a transportation network company shall adopt a policy of nondiscrimination, which I appreciate, except that there is a word in the list of things that we shall not discriminate against, which is not by any means a protected class.

Certainly, people should be protected for age and race and religion and so forth, but the word “destination” appears in here. And I think that this is included in this bill in deference to the taxi industry because they cannot turn down fares. They have to go wherever they are called to. And in the case of TNCs, I think we are trying to make the same requirement of them.

Through you, Madam Speaker, is that the intent of this language to say that TNC drivers must go to fares regardless of their destination?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That is correct and that is the intent of this section.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate that answer and I have significant reservations with it, which I want to talk about. But the first thing I would say is, how is that possible? Maybe the Chairman can describe for me exactly how the process works? I've never used Uber personally myself as a rider or a driver. So, I don't really know. At what point does the driver accept the potential rider? Do they know in advance where that person is to be picked up and what their destination is?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, when this is all over, I'll offer Representative Sampson, we'll take an Uber somewhere together and hopefully celebrate passage of this bill. Until that moment, though, I would say that, yes, the driver does see on their phone where an individual is requesting the ride from and where they're often going to go. So, if I was to pull up my Uber app right now and say that I was at 300 Capitol Avenue, then I would put in where I wanted to go. They would show up and see where I wanted to go and then accept or decline the ride.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, in effect, the actual Uber driver can very easily discriminate against what rides he wants to accept and which ones he or she may not, based on that destination, because they're going to know in advance.

The question I have, is there any mechanism at all to prohibit them from using that choice?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I don't know if the companies following this passage of this law will update their software to disallow that. What I do know though is that in the case of my personal experience using Uber, if you are rejected, you similar to what we've been talking about throughout this afternoon, you have the ability to go on and comment as to why that was. And so, if somebody feels like they are being discriminated against, they can go on and report that driver and allege that they feel that the dismissal or the cancelation of the driver coming to pick them up had something to do with discrimination and the company would then look into that, as I'm sure they would in all the other instances we've talked about.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the Chairman for his answer. I tend to doubt that unless there is a requirement in the law that anybody is going to do anything to prohibit this practice from occurring. Personally, I'm thankful about that because I can imagine that there are many TNC drivers that are not -- I wouldn't say as qualified drivers, but maybe qualified to handle difficult situations as maybe a professional cab driver who has a suitable license and experience and training to go ahead and pick up and carry passengers, even in known dangerous neighborhoods, that kind of thing. You could imagine, you know, a young college-aged person being asked to go into a very bad location and potentially be in danger and why they might make a decision to not go.

And I understand that we have made this requirement in the law, but we have done nothing here to enforce it whatsoever. So, it's kind of we're on one hand saying, in the law that we're about to pass or not, that this is a requirement that no one can possibly ever discriminate against someone based on their destination. But we are also essentially allowing it because we're not putting any protection or penalty for not doing it. And I think that's disingenuous, especially when this is something that I think is very important to the taxi industry because that is a major distinct difference between their business model and this.

And we are one state regulating what I see as one basic industry and setting up two distinct regulatory constructs. Okay. So, on to the next bit, which is about record keeping. So, further down in that section, it's (e)1, it says that the TNC company has to maintain a bunch of records and I don't want to waste everybody's time talking about that.

I just notice that there is nothing in there that says that the drivers themselves have to keep records and I'm curious to why that is because in this bill, we are essentially saying that TNC is a data company, but it is the driver who is the subcontractor, who is essentially responsible for the lion's share of what's happening here, which is that transport.

Through you, Madam Speaker. Is there anything in this legislation that requires the driver to keep records of his pickups and who he transports and to where?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No, there is not. And the reason for that is because in this TNC model, the driver is not keeping track of any of the information. They are also not keeping track of the money, that's what they believe is the difference in this model versus perhaps the cab industry.

So, the driver doesn't have to keep records of this because all the data is electronically stored by the TNC company and that's the kind of data that I think Representative Sampson is asking about, where they go, how many fares they do in a day, all of that is maintained in the cloud, I would assume, through the company's TNC database.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I notice that in the following section there is an audit process that the Commissioner of Transportation can go through. And what is interesting here is it says the Commissioner shall not require the TNC to disclose information identifying the riders or drivers, unless the identity of the driver or rider is needed to resolve a complaint or investigate. I would say those are pretty broad terms.

I think that people have a natural notion that their privacy is a little bit more secure than that about their whereabouts and so forth when they use a transportation network company; and for a mere complaint, which have no basis for it to have that information released, I see as problem and something I wish I had the opportunity to talk about with the Chairman before this bill came before us today.

I would note, just for the record, there was some conversation earlier about how this came before us. And I don't want to belabor the point, but you notice that I am the Ranking Member of the Insurance Committee and I'm speaking at great lengths with the Chairman of the Insurance Committee about a bill that has very little to do with insurance. There is a small section that is devoted to that. But this is in large measure a transportation bill. And the fact that it did not go before the Transportation Committee shocks me. It's also a bill that creates new laws, new penalties, things that would normally require a bill to go to the Judiciary Committee. It also deals with money. It has fines and fees associated with it, which you would assume would send it to one of the money committees. You could even make a good case that it might go to Public Safety.

So, for us to be debating this, I find interesting. It's also worth noting that this language that's before us never received a hearing from the public. And that while this version is only slightly changed from the previous version of the bill that I looked at, I didn't see any substantial version of this bill that looks like this until late yesterday. And it's a very difficult thing to be able to walk into a negotiation about what laws we should pass at the last minute and play an important role in how that's crafted. And I just would state for the record, I think it's unfortunate. We should, in the future, try and work together more closely so that we don't have to finetune so many things here at the last minute. We could have that done in advance.

So, continuing on the notion of privacy. If you go to line 200 in the bill, which is just a little bit further down, it says that the TNC shall not disclose the rider's personally identifiable information without the rider's consent. And I just have a question about how that would be or is obtained from the rider?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If the good Ranking Member would cite the line number of what he's asking, I'd appreciate it.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson, do you have a line number?

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, yes, indeed. It is between lines 200 and 206, Section (f).

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I believe what the Representative is asking is what is the process or why they would have the rider's consent. As we talked about a few minutes ago, the DOT has the opportunity to audit four times a year information about this. There is protections about who they can do and where that information can then be shared. In this instance, I believe, if an appropriate state agency, law enforcement was conducting an investigation of something that had to do with an Uber ride, they would then have the ability to contact the driver or, I'm sorry, the rider, and ask their permission.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As I'm reading it, I think that this section conflicts directly with the previous section we talked about, which essentially says they can provide the information under certain circumstances. And this one says they must obtain consent. I don't know if those things have to go hand-in-hand or not. But my question was more specific than that. It's very simple. How do they obtain this consent? It says, “written consent. ” Would that mean that a user of the electronic digital application could do it through that mechanism or they actually have to sign a document in writing?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I can find out the answer to that question and I'll get back to the Representative about it.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate that and that is something that we do in the Committee process, but I'm left here. So, hopefully by the end of this debate we'll have an answer to that question.

I think it's very important because, you know, I'm sure everyone in this room gets popups on their computer, on their telephone, all the time when they're using electronic software that says, you know, you got to sign this, check this box, and hit yes to continue. But no one is really reading all that, and that's unfortunate. I think that's something that we -- I wish I was in a place to fix, but I'm not. But in this case, I'd like to make certain that people understand that if they're going to use this application, if that is a possibility, whether or not they could be giving up their personal identifiable information about their geolocation data and when and where they go based on just checking off a box or clicking something on an application.

All right. So, right after that, the bill states that no TNC driver can use the digital network or provide prearranged rides for more than 14 hours consecutively or 16 hours in a 24-hour-period.

I'm curious if the Chairman knows how this compares to the taxi industry or any other industry for that matter, truck drivers, so on.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I do not have that information in front of me.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, yes. Is another situation where if I had a little more notice, I would have been keen on looking it up myself to find out whether we are trying to keep this same or making an exception. And again, we don't know, so we'll have to just move on from there.

The very next section says that the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles will not require a TNC driver to have a commercial driver's license. Are TNC drivers required to have any kind of special license at all? Can they just have a regular private passenger driver's license, or do they need to have a passenger endorsement or do they need to have anything beyond that?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. They do not. They need the same license that I'm sure most of us use every single day, if we are not in a job that requires us to have a specialized license.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Again, this goes back to my earlier point about how we are essentially creating a dichotomy here between the taxi industry and the TNC companies because we are saying in one case you must go through this extra hoop to ensure that you are properly prepared and trained to carry passengers in your vehicle. And in this other case, we're willing to overlook that.

On line 223 through 226, it also states that a taxicab cannot be used as a TNC vehicle. And I'm curious, through you, Madam Speaker, as to why that is included in the bill?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. We believe that a TNC and a taxicab are two very different things. I know they do things that seem very similar, they drive people from point A to point B, but as the Representative has pointed out several times, TNC drivers are independent contractors, they use a technology piece that's provided to them by a parent company to go out and drive folks around, but they are very different than a taxicab.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Chairman. With respect to the Chairman, those are not similar things, those are the same things. Both of these jobs pick up people at locations and drop them off at other locations.

Again, line 227, the Commissioner of Transportation may adopt regulations. That appears in this bill numerous times and I will remind everyone that the bill never went to the Transportation Committee.

Section 4 starts with the language that has to do with background checks. So, rather than ask a lot of questions, maybe I could just as the Chairman to describe to me the differences between the background check process for taxi drivers and TNCs?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I will attempt to do that with brevity. Several years ago, when I first introduced this bill, I actually went undercover, signed up to become an Uber driver, and decided that the background check process there was not stringent enough. That's why I originally introduced the first bill, when I was first selected in 2015. The companies have come a long way since then, but with that said, I still feel that without a very clear regulatory structure, like the one we are putting in place here, when it comes to background checks, we are leaving our fellow citizens and our constituents exposed to potential problems when it comes to the folks that are picking them up and driving them somewhere, when they presume that in doing so, they are going to be safe.

So, what this basically says is that a TNC company is required to conduct a third-party background check or they can fingerprint their employees and use the FBI database, that's what taxicabs use, to you know, secure their, or to vet their folks that apply to be taxi drivers.

What the background check does here in this bill is check all the various databases that are available to the companies, whether it's the sexual crime database, it's the State and Federal Court Crime databases, all the databases that any employer would be using to look at a potential employee and then giving that person a thumbs up or a thumbs down. The thumbs down, in this instance, comes from the fact that the person may have been convicted or certain crimes.

So, in this bill, no driver is allowed to become an Uber or a Lift driver or any TNC driver if they have more than three moving violations in the last three years, if they have committed one serious traffic violation, or they had their license suspended. Moreover, no driver, who in the last seven years, has been convicted of the following offenses, DUI, fraud, sex crimes, the use of a car for a felony, an act of terrorism; none of those folks would be allowed to drive. And if you were ever on the sex offender registry, you cannot drive.

So, what this bill does, what Section 4 does, is put forward a series of very commonsense background check standards that if the company does vet the person using them, I believe, we can safely look at our constituents in the eye and tell them that they are getting the most full proper background check.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thanks to the Chairman for his lengthy answer. What I was looking for though was the differences really between this background check requirement versus TNCs and taxicabs. And I would say the first thing that is noteworthy about it, and I am by no means an expert, I just looked at the state website for the requirements to become a taxi driver, but the one thing I noticed right off the bat is that you have to be fingerprinted, and that is not the case here. You can just submit to, what seems to me, and the Chairman can correct me if I'm wrong, the same kind of background check you might get if you were going to try and rent an apartment. I question whether that is significant enough to authorize people to go out and pick up consumers and give them the feeling that they are indeed being looked out by the state to make sure we are only allowing, you know, people that meet certain criteria can do it.

So, I notice this section seemed to expand between this version and the last one, so I'm having a little difficulty getting to where I'm looking, but the one piece -- oh, here it is. It's on line 275. It talks about how far the lookback is for certain crimes. And I thank the Chairman for mentioning the things he did about, you know, certain types of crimes, felonies, acts of violence and so forth, fraud, those things would preclude you from becoming a TNC driver, if they show up on your background check. But they only go back seven years.

So, through you, Madam Speaker, to the Chairman. Does this mean that if you were convicted of any of these crimes that were just listed, including DUI, alcohol, fraud, sexual offenses, use of a motor vehicle to commit a felony, acts of violence or terror, and it is seven years and a day ago that you would, in fact, be allowed to still operate as a TNC driver?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I apologize. I believe what the Representative is asking me is why seven years? And the answer to that is seven years is the industry standard when it comes to background checks.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I don't doubt the Chairman is correct that that is the industry standard for transportation network companies, but I'm quite certain it is not the industry standard for people in the industry of carrying people for a fee. I think that the threshold is probably much, much higher for people in the other livery businesses.

I notice also on line 280, a very interesting statement that says, it's 280, and there is a big D there and it says, “Does not possess a vehicle operator's license. ” So, this made me think of something, which is that the mere requirement is that you don't have these things show up in your seven-year-background check and you have a driver's license. Is there anything in this bill, Madam Speaker, and could I have a little help getting the room a little quieter? [Gavel]

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Is there anything in this bill that precludes someone from being a TNC driver, if they are not a lawful resident of the United States?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I believe that in the background check process that would come about through this, that that would be discovered that the person is not a U. S. citizens, but there is nothing that specifically prohibits a non-citizen from becoming an Uber driver.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate that, except I was asking about citizens. I was asking about people lawfully in the country or not. This requirement simply says that you have not committed the crimes listed that have been discovered on the background check. I say that caveat because I think that's not necessarily going to be the most complete source of information. But it also says, you'd only be excluded if you did not possess a vehicle operator's license. But as we all know in this Chamber, we have passed a law that allows people who are not lawfully in the country to have a driver's license. So, I would just like for legislative intent to understand fully whether or not this bill allows people not lawfully in the United States to become Uber drivers, through you, Madam Speaker, or TNC drivers?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. There is nothing in this bill that specifically does not allow what Representative Sampson is talking about.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thanks to the Chairman. So, I just would like to make sure that people understand that for the record. There is nothing that prohibits someone not lawfully in the country from being the person that picks you up the next time you use a TNC.

The following section has to do with how we keep track of TNC drivers and their background going forward. And I found it pretty interesting because it seems to say in almost every case, we're relying on the driver to tell them. It says, “You shall report. ” So, if this is a significant source of your income being a TNC driver, how likely is it that when you get your fourth moving violation or your one serious traffic violation, or your conviction for some major crime, that you're just going to volunteer that information to the TNC. I don't think it's likely at all, and I'd say that's a major concern that we ought to keep an eye on going forward.

A follow up to that, Madam Speaker. Is there any penalty in the law that for a person that somehow does not report to the TNC that they are no longer eligible based on the background check?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. As in most industries throughout the state, I'm sure, the standard is the same. Self-reporting of a crime, though there are subsequent background checks that would, of course, uncover this information, but we rely on the employee to tell the employer when they have done something that they know the employer would then dismiss them for.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thanks for that answer. But again, just to go back. We are not talking about employees and employers, we're talking about independent contractors and we are not talking about the actual substantive background check, we're talking about a requirement for that independent contractor to notify the TNC.

A little earlier the Chairman mentioned that there is in fact a policy requirement in this bill to say the TNCs must put together a policy to confront drivers that they are associated with, when they fail to comply with some of their requirements, and I appreciate that. And that is contained in lines 314 to 322. I would just say that my concern with this is, it's pretty one-sided, and maybe that's to a benefit of the consumer, but it's certainly not to the benefit of the TNC driver because it essentially says that the moment someone makes a complaint against you, you are suspended.

I think it's interesting that we are putting that as a requirement in our law. And that's not just a policy adopted by that private company and I also think that somehow it could be tested in court because I don't think that we often require companies to adopt policies to consider people guilty until proven innocent or to be punished by that company as a requirement of a policy we told them they had to adopt.

I'll just go on and repeat that in Section 332 through 342, previously we had talked about the requirements on the TNC company, but this is also speaking directly to the TNC driver themselves that they must comply with this requirement to not discriminate based on destination.

As I said before, I don't see how this could possibly work in a case where the driver is going to know that information in advance and there is no way for anyone to know whether or not that's the purpose or the reason why they would deny to pick up a fare. A little farther down in that same section, on line 344, it prohibits a TNC driver from soliciting or accepting a request for transportation outside of the TNC network.

So, I just have a question on this, Madam Speaker, and that is for legislative intent, does this apply all of the time or does it only apply when the app is on and another question would be, is there anything precluding any TNC driver from working for more than one TNC company?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I just want to go back to the Representative's last point, which was how would a person know that somebody was going to have some sort of disability or have some sort of characteristic as a human being that would invite discrimination. What that's trying to get out is that somebody -- in the case of somebody who has a wheelchair, they have to have, in this bill, the ability to note the fact that they need a wheelchair accessible car. But let's say that for a second, on this section, 332 through 342, somebody did have a service dog and somebody called an Uber. They requested an Uber. And then they pulled up on the curb --

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Point of order, Madam Speaker. This is not the question that I asked. I was asking about something entirely different, which was about --

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Excuse me. This Chamber will stand at ease for a moment. [Gavel] The Chamber will come back to order. Representative Sampson, I believe you were speaking.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Yes, thank you, Madam Speaker. The question I had asked was specifically about whether or not this section, lines 344 to 346, precluded someone from picking up a passenger in their vehicle ever unless they were, in fact, working for the TNC company at the time?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No, it does not.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

I'm sorry. Representative Scanlon. Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, that's pretty clear here that if you are working for a TNC company, they expect you to do the TNC rides through them; however, I have some concerns about this language because I think it may expand beyond the time that you were actually working for the TNC company, and it might also interfere with things like picking up a passenger that you are friendly with, while you're on the clock, for whatever reason. And how long is someone considered a TNC driver for? If I have an app with a TNC company today and I use it once or twice, but I don't use it again for a couple of years and then, of course, something happens, am I still considered a subcontractor of that TNC company?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If the gentleman can please rephrase his question, I'd appreciate it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson, would you be so kind as to rephrase your question, please.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I will just choose not to ask the question and point out that the language in 344 through 346, I think is poorly written and creates problems because it says that you cannot solicit or accept a request for transportation unless it's accepted through the TNC. There are no other caveats in there about whether the app should be on or off or how long you've been in contact with a TNC or not, and I think it needs to be corrected.

The next part of the bill has to do with TNC vehicles, which are essentially the vehicles owned by average citizens operating as TNC drivers. And there is a requirement that the vehicle cannot be more than 12 years old and that it cannot be designed to carry more than eight passengers. The thing that I find interesting is that in lines 364 through 367 and on past that, it lists the requirement for a TNC vehicle. And what it's essentially doing is requiring the driver to certify that the vehicle is in good working order. This is not an inspection required by Motor Vehicles or by some authority or by someone knowledgeable in the working order of a motor vehicle. I'm sure Representative Scanlon and I can tell whether the headlights are working and the wipers work, but I don't know that we can identify whether or not our airbags are in good working order just by looking at our car. And we are essentially saying in this bill that is satisfactory to allow to get into a stranger's vehicle, who is operating as a driver for a TNC.

Is there any other protection, through you, Madam Speaker, to consumers to make sure that the TNC vehicle that is being operating is indeed safe, has working airbags and so on?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The bill, as the Representative does correctly state, does require them to certify that this is done. It does not say that they cannot do that at a licensed dealership. It doesn't say that they can't do that or they won't do that at their local auto body store. It just says that they have to certify it and the TNC is reliable.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'll just point of, for the benefit of anyone listening, that I don't think that that's satisfactory. I am certain that folks in the taxicab and livery industry because they are carrying passengers, citizens of our state, have to submit to certain types of vehicle inspections to make sure that their vehicles are in working order and they are safe. And here is another difference where we are allowing these vehicles on the road without those requirements. And the suggestion that the owner of the vehicle, the TNC driver is qualified to certify that the vehicle is safe and the airbags are working and so forth, to me is a stretch. I don't think it's satisfactory.

So, we'll move on to Section 5, which is about finally we get to the topic of insurance. As I mentioned, I'm the Ranking Member of the Insurance Committee and when this bill came before us, this was the subject matter we were most concerned with. And as such, I had the fewest questions on this part of the bill. I'll just say for the record that what it does is it says that when a TNC driver has their application on, they are required to have a certain amount of insurance. But it's made very clear in the bill that the TNC company is going to provide coverage in the case that they do not from the first dollar at the amounts of $ 50,000 per person, $ 100,000 per accident for bodily injury liability, and $ 25,000 for property damage liability.

Once that TNC driver picks up a rider, the coverage increases dramatically. And again, it would be the TNC company itself that is responsible from the first dollar up to a million dollars.

I do have a question though and that is on line 390, there is a mention of uninsured motorist coverage. And from what I can gather from the language in the bill, it simply omits any requirement for uninsured motorist coverage for the TNC driver other than what the law currently is.

So, through you, Madam Speaker, if the good Chairman can tell me what is implied or what 390 and 391 means with respect to the drivers, uninsured motorist insurance and whether they will have any if the app is on or off?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The good Representative's interpretation that was leading up to that question is accurate.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have one concern here, but I think it's a pretty important concern and that is because the TNC company has agreed to take care of the liability portion of the policy from the first dollar when the app is on and also when there is a rider, but they have not specified that they would provide any coverage for UM, does that mean if the person's private insurance carrier precludes coverage when this is underway, that they do not have UM coverage?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, that is correct. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I will leave that as it be. In Section 421, it says that the transportation network company can choose to purchase their insurance in either one, an insurance company authorized to do business in the state; or two, a surplus lines insurer which, by definition, is a company not licensed to do insurance in the state. So, I thought that was rather interesting. But I'll point out that I think it's odd that we would allow a non-admitted carrier to provide the coverage in this particular case.

In lines 429 and so on, it says that the TNC driver shall carry proof of insurance satisfying the required coverage under Coverage A. And my question for the Chairman is simply, how would they provide that proof of insurance if that insurance is coming from the TNC company?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The TNC company is required to provide the driver with that information so that they can begin service as a driver on the TNC platform.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Would that information be provided in paper or electronically, so that maybe they could show it on their phone as part of the application?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, as the Ranking Member is aware, there is another bill that is still alive here in this Chamber that would allow for the use of electronic insurance in terms of proof of insurance. But because we had not passed that bill and it was unclear whether we will pass that bill this session, we removed the piece of this bill that did pass our Committee, which would have allowed the TNC to use electronic insurance.

So, now that that's out of the bill, they would have to use actual hard-copy insurance because that is the law of the state. So, when it says that that's what they have to do, it means a hard copy.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I really appreciate the Chairman spelling that out because I don't think it's clear from the language in the bill that it has to be a written document, and I appreciate that clarification.

In lines 445 through 450, it talks about a potential claims investigation, and it says that the TNC has to provide information to law enforcement about any accidents, that kind of thing that occurs, for the 12-hour periods prior to and after the accident. And I would just note that since we say elsewhere in the bill that we allow TNC drivers to operate for a maximum of 14 hours, that that is something that I think should be revisited and corrected because you could easily be showing that someone was beyond their 14 hours, but we're not catching that with this 12 hours before and after issue.

The next section basically says that it is perfectly okay in Connecticut for personal automobile insurance carriers to exclude coverage when people are operating as TNC drivers.

I mentioned the uninsured motorist insurance a few minutes ago and to me that is a pretty important concern. But lines 514 through 517 are regarding comprehensive and collision coverage. And I think it's interesting to note that it says here that if the -- a private insurance company is essentially turning off your insurance that you have purchased through them when you're operating as a TNC driver, and the TNC is picking up your exposure to liability. Who is protecting the collision coverage of your vehicle and also the potential lienholder in that case?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. My understanding is that the company is doing that.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

I'm sorry, Madam Speaker, I was a little distracted. I didn't hear the Chairman's answer.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon, would you care to repeat your answer, please.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

For sure. Through you, Madam Speaker. I said the company.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, for legislative intent, the Chairman is indicating that the TNC would provide coverage for the comprehensive and collision to a TNC driver's automobile while the app is on because their personal insurance would not be active; is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes, that is my understanding.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm hoping that the Chairman can point that out to me in the bill because I think it's pretty explicit in lines 514 through 517 that that is not the case.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson, is there a question in there?

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

I have asked the good Chairman if he would be so kind to point out to me in the bill where it shows that the TNC company is providing comprehensive and collision coverage for the TNC driver's vehicle when the app is on because their personal automobile liability insurance may not be providing it?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir, for repeating that. Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. In reading those lines, I don't see anything to cite the contrary.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Forgive me, this is just another symptom of looking at the bill in less detail with less time than I would have liked. But I do appreciate the Chairman's indication for legislative intent that that would be in fact covered. Although, I still don't see it in the language. The good news is we're almost to the end of the language in the bill and to the end of my questions.

In Section 11, which is on page 20, of the 24-page-bill, so people know how close we are to the end here. I'll just note that this language applies mostly to taxi industry folks. And essentially it says that the Commissioner of Transportation, essentially sets a lot of guidelines and rules and requirements for those in the taxi industry, including the rates that they charge for picking people up and carrying them and so forth. And it makes it pretty explicit that it applies only to taxicabs and that in no way, shape, or form, should a TNC company, rider, potential rider, driver, or vehicle, have anything to do with the regulations on taxis.

I will just ask one final question, I guess, and that is if the Chairman would be so kind as to explain Section 13 of the bill to me. From what I'm reading, it seems to create a study that would give the Commissioner of Transportation some authority to examine how TNCs and taxis could be best used in this state to help various state agencies and folks with disabilities, Medicaid recipients, and so forth; am I reading that correctly, and could you tell me anymore detail about how this ended up in the bill and what it has as far as relevance to the TNC regulation construct that the bill is about?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, absolutely. Several times during our discussion here, the good Ranking Member has alluded to the fact that he was not sure whether this bill went further enough in terms of prosecuting or sanctioning a driver or an entity that was, in fact, committing acts of discrimination against a potential customer. This bill or this section, Section 13 of the bill rather, simply tries to determine whether or not this bill does go far enough. And if it doesn't go far enough, then we would perhaps come back here as a legislative body to address some of the concerns that my friend, Representative Sampson, has raised, about whether this bill could do more to ensure that discrimination is not happening and that is what this bill or this section rather is about.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I will thank the Chairman for his patience and all of his answers this afternoon. I am done asking questions. So, if you need to take a break, Representative, you are welcome to.

I will just wrap up very briefly to say that I was excited to hear about the various TNC companies entering our marketplace, and I still am. I think that technology is an amazing thing. I am the last person to ever want to stifle the advances in our technology and new entrepreneurs from starting businesses and having great ideas to move us forward and I will stand by that. And we've had some legislation in this Chamber over the last several years that does the exact opposite. We have tried to protect certain industries in some cases and that's a noteworthy endeavor also.

Here we are faced with this situation where we are kind of trying to both at the same time and that is a very, very difficult thing to do. The taxi industry is a longstanding industry in our state. They have performed a valuable service over time. We have the TNC companies, which is a new invention that does a very similar, and I would go back to saying, maybe the same thing but in a different way. And as a result, it's very difficult for us to come up with a mechanism that is fair to that industry and also fair to a new industry coming into our state.

The thing that I would say is the greatest inhibitor of doing that successfully is trying to do too much. You know, we have other bills that we're going to be faced with. We have bills about the electric car industry versus the existing automobile dealer situation, it's a similar case, where we have a regulatory environment that someone does not want to comply with because they claim, and maybe rightfully so, that their industry is different. This is the same thing. And the one thing that I can point to is because we have created such a deep and intertwined regulatory system for this, it becomes very difficult to untangle it for folks. And I would urge that we try and do the very least possible in regulating these types of industries to allow for new ideas and innovation and to prohibit us from making mistakes that might be damaging to one industry or another.

I have some concerns about this bill. You can't have listened to the last, you know, bit of conversation without realizing that there are certain things which may or may not, based on your opinion, concern you. We talked about the very, very high cost of a license to get engaged in this business, $ 50,000, potentially non-refundable. To me, that's a barrier to entry. We wouldn't say that to someone who wanted to become an insurance agent or a real estate agent or a plumber, electrician, anything. I don't know an industry where we charge such a high amount for a license to begin operating in our state. I see this as a mechanism only to prevent other small companies from getting involved, and I have a big problem with it.

We learned that there are some potential concerns about the photo and decal requirements because there is no mechanism really to ensure that these things are happening. Certainly, the TNC company wants to see them too. I have no doubt that they will try and self-police the drivers that they contract with; but at the same time, our primary focus has to be the protection of citizens and consumers in our state. And I'm afraid that part leaves some holes where that may not be happening.

There is this restriction on cash payments, which I don't know is even lawful. There are the differences in this bill from how we are going to treat the TNC industry from the taxi industry that are very noteworthy. We are telling one what the prices are that they have to charge, while we are giving the other one full reign, except for in certain very specific situations.

We are treating them the same in theory, but not the same in other things though, like the requirement that they would have to travel to any destination. I have already expressed, during the conversation, that I think that the language in the bill will not end up ensuring that TNC drivers will in fact do what is prescribed in this language because there is no mechanism to make them do it. And that may in fact be a good thing because I don't know that every TNC driver, who may just be a very young college-aged kid, we didn't get into this, but I don't even know what the requirement is other than having a driver's license. You may be 16, 17 years old and be able to be a TNC driver.

To send that person into a potentially dangerous environment, I don't think is a good idea, versus a professional who has gone through a different licensing process and more extensive background check and has, I would hope has had some training to do so. We talked about the different requirement in the driver's licenses. We talked about the difference in the background checks, which I think is noteworthy. We talked about the, again, self-policing requirement for the TNCs. I'm just breezing through the bill just to make sure that we kind of remind ourselves, before we vote, of the things that are important.

I guess that more or less covers the concerns that I have brought out in the question and answer. And I hope that people understand that the purpose of this was not as a means to say anything negative about the bill. I merely want people to understand the facts before we vote on it because it's important what we are doing. And I want to make sure that we are very thoughtful before we potentially put any lives in danger with policy that we make. And I would urge my colleagues to give great thought to all of these concerns before they make their vote. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Representative MacLachlan.

REP. MACLACHLAN (35TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise for a few comments and a few quick questions for the proponent of the bill, if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon, prepare yourself. You may proceed, sir.

REP. MACLACHLAN (35TH):

Thank you, Madam. As a consumer of the ridesharing industry, I've had a number of great experiences with companies like Uber and Lift. I've had an opportunity to partner with the ridesharing industry in my district, as they've created a very beneficial partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It's been proven that the ridesharing industry reduces DUIs in municipalities by as much as 15 percent upon their arrival, and I think that's good for our -- a wonderful addition to our communities and I'm glad that we're passing a piece of legislation that's going to increase consumer confidence in the ridesharing industry.

Through you, Madam Speaker, to the proponent of the bill. Do I understand this bill to be an industry bill that's had a number of partners come together to craft this piece of legislation?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. You know, it was alluded to in the dialogue with my good friend, Representative Sampson, that this bill hasn't really been vetted too much. I would disagree with that. I would say that this bill represents, while not a perfect compromise where everyone got what they wanted, no bill that we pass in this room, certainly not in this building does that. But I would venture to say that when you look around the country at other states and other men and women who serve in state legislatures have passed bills that have been very contentious between the taxi industry and the TNC industry.

I believe this bill represents a good compromise that has pieces that certainly the TNCs don't like and things that the taxi industry doesn't like. But there are things in here that were agreed to by both industries. And I believe that I could say, without overstepping any bounds, that the taxi industry and the TNC industry both look upon this bill more favorably than they do unfavorably.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative MacLachlan.

REP. MACLACHLAN (35TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the good Chairman for his answers. That's the way democracy should work. Everyone should feel like they've won a little bit, they can't get everything that they want; they've at least gotten something, and that's how business should work.

I'm looking at Section 3, after a potential transportation network company submits a request for a ride. Essentially, they have to show a picture of themselves and their license plate number. And I think I understand the purpose of this section. Through you, Madam Speaker, to the proponent. Were there particular instances of consumer protection that this section is addressing?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, absolutely. I mean this is an instance where we want to make sure that we give the consumer the ability to have a little bit of a sense of who's coming to get them. And if they look up on their app and they see, you know Representative MacLachlan's face and his car and make and model and his driver's license or his license plate, rather, and then somebody else pulls up, Representative Simmons, sitting before me, that would give that person pause. And they could say, “Hey, I wonder whether this is a safe car or truck for me to enter?” And they could then deny that because they didn't feel safe. Whereas, if you just ordered it, somebody else is going to show up, you have no idea whether somebody has a fake decal on there and they're just going to pick you up. And so, I believe that allowing or requiring rather that somebody would have to have the picture and their license plate number on the app, displayed at all times, is a very good consumer protection and consumer safety feature of this bill.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative MacLachlan.

REP. MACLACHLAN (35TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the response and I'm heartened to know that we are taking measures to keep consumers safe in this state in this bill. There are a number of measures here that have the same spirit, intent, and reflect consumer protection attitude. I'm looking at stipulations for dynamic pricing and the notifications that will be made for the consumer where essentially if I'm being charged an extra couple of dollars, I'm being told, and I have to accept that charge, I think that's a good piece of legislation. Pardon me.

One issue that did strike me and give me pause. And through you, Madam Speaker, if the good Chair could just elaborate a little further.

It's my understanding the reason why we're asking a ride-sharing company to pay a $ 50,000 registration fee, a few reasons. The first being that there is going to be a cost incurred upon the State of Connecticut to oversee and administer registrations to process, and correct me if I'm wrong, to process background checks, to essentially regulate the company, number one.

And number two, if a company can't afford a $ 50,000 registration fee, then it's very unlikely that they will be able to continue to make payments on a million-dollar app off, app on insurance policy, which we believe to be one of the fulcrums of this bill in protecting consumers. Do I understand the spirit of that section to be correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct. Obviously, to establish a TNC company requires quite a bit of capital upfront. And we certainly don't want to dissuade any entrepreneur across the state from opening their own TNC. This is certainly not to price out any competitors to the two main TNC partners that we have been talking about, like Uber and Lift. In fact, there is nothing that prohibits a taxicab company from going out and forming their own TNC, which is something that some of them are considering doing. And this was not one of the things that I had heard from anybody prior coming to me and saying that $ 50,000 was too large a barrier for them to enter into the TNC.

So, I believe that this is an appropriate level that allows the DOT to handle their responsibilities as outlined in this bill, whether it's auditing, processing paperwork, all of those things, without being a barrier to entry to an entrepreneur like myself or Representative MacLachlan, should we choose to leave this Chamber.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative MacLachlan.

REP. MACLACHLAN (35TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the Chairman for his answers. And I certainly agree that there is a way for us to levy wise regulations without incurring further costs upon the taxpayer. And perhaps this regulation fee maybe warranted.

Just a few other comments, and I'll land the ship here, land the plane here quickly. We talked about the million-dollar app off, app on insurance policy, which I think it's a good piece of policy, proof to have the transportation network company has to carry proof of insurance. And there is also a nondiscrimination clause in the bill, another good piece of policy and towards the end the bill looks to research and expand how ride-sharing industries could offer services to those with disabilities. And so, I'm glad we're taking those steps.

All-in-all, Madam Speaker, I'm glad we're passing a bill that reflects compromise and cooperation within the live-sharing livery industry. And I thank all parties who worked on this piece of legislation. And I would urge my colleagues to support it. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further. Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just briefly, I thank the Chairman and the proponent of the bill. This is something that many of you may recall came out of transportation and passed with a huge support out of the House and got stalled in the Senate. And to the good Ranking Member, I appreciate all his questions and his hard work. This did come through transportation a couple of years ago, did get through the House and got stalled in the Senate. But I just wanted to point out a couple of things that came up with my good ranking member. The question about the DO, Drive Only licenses applications. While that's not addressed specifically in this bill, I would like to let the members know that the TNC companies background check requires a Social Security number. So, and the fingerprinting would obviously vet that out and the TNC search or criminal background check requires a Social Security number. So, it would be extremely unlikely, if not impractical or impossible, for a DO only driver to become a TNC driver.

If I may, to the proponent, just to clarify on line 382. The 5100 policy that's required, when the app goes on, it's 5100. But then when a person actually gets into the car it's the million-dollar-policy; isn't that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

That is correct. There are two insurance regulatory structure schemes here. One when the app is just on and then one when the person is actually in the car being transported to their destination, in which case there is a million dollars in coverage across the board.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I would like to point out that 5100 policy, and the state has a 20/40 minimum requirement, which is for UM, UIM, as well. And that hasn't been touched since 1971. I know that's not before this and addressed in this legislation. But I would like to point out to everybody that that is something that we absolutely need to address ASAP, As Soon As Possible, because we have not changed that 20/40 policy structure since 1971. I don't know about you all, but my expenses and costs are a lot higher now than they were in 1971 when that 20/40 policy was first instituted.

And then, if I may, Madam Speaker, just one other thing I wanted to point out to the good proponent. On line 491, Section 3 that says, “In the event of a claim against a TNC driver, in which there is a disagreement between such driver's insurance company and the transportation network company's insurance, the transportation network company's insurance has the duty to defend and shall have the duty to defend such claim,” that's only if the app is actually on. In other words, the disagreement is if there is a disagreement when the app is on; isn't that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, that is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you. So, in other words, if the app is off, there can be no disagreement because there is no coverage in that scenario?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

I know you've been up there, the proponent has been up there for a long time. I want to urge my colleagues to support this legislation. It's not perfect. But we do not want unregulated TNC's operating in the State of Connecticut. We have put our citizens in jeopardy by not having some form of legislation regulating TNCs. So, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation. If you think it needs to be fixed, let's fix it later on. But we need something in place and now. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Representative Cummings.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, a couple of questions for the proponent of the bill.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

You may proceed, Madam.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In line, staring on line 364, which articulates the certifications that a driver has to have regarding their car, the brakes, the turn light indicator, doors, et cetera, if a driver certifies to a company that all of these items are in good working order and they are indeed in possession of information that that is incorrect, is the company still held liable for any incident occurring for the failure of brakes or therefrom?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes, they are.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Cummings.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. On the next page, I am concerned about the word “or” in lines 378. It appears that either the driver or the company must maintain the subsequently defined liability coverage. My concern is that if a driver says to the company, “I do have the correct insurance, here is proof. ” And thereafter reduces their policy and an accident happens, and Uber does not have the correct insurance backing it up, who is going to be held liable when there the correct insurance has not been held in place?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. My understanding of the bill is that in all times the TNC's insurance supersedes the driver's insurance and; therefore, the TNC would be liable in all cases, regardless of what the individual driver's personal insurance status is. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Cummings.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. So, it's your understanding that at all times the company must have insurance, even though it articulates in line 378 that the driver or the company must maintain that insurance; it does not say that the driver may and the company shall, it just says “or.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I would direct the good Representative's attention to line 408 in the bill, which I believe addresses her concern.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Cummings.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I am familiar with the lines 408 through 416, but my concern is if the company does not add the driver on to their policy because the driver has certified under the original provision either/or and they therefore do not add them on to their coverage, the driver has said that they have the correct insurance, are you indicating that the driver must still maintain, even if the driver has certified that they have the correct insurance, they must maintain a policy in accordance with all of those regulations over and above the driver's policy?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, yes, because just to refresh everybody's memory here. We're talking about people driving their own personal vehicles. So, if they are driving their child to soccer practice or their wife to work, they have to maintain their own auto insurance separate and aside from the fact of when they are driving for Uber; so that is correct.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Cummings.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, thank you, and just one final question for you. If the injuries exceed either the driver or the company's policy and the subsequent UIM policy, is the injured person then able to go after the alternative's policy and to recoup the remainder of the injuries?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is not specified in the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Cummings.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, I'm all set.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Okay. Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, if I may, just a few questions for the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Absolutely.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

In the title of the bill it says, “AN ACT CONCERNING MOTOR VEHICLES AND LIVERY SERVICE, TAXICABS, AND TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES. ” I haven't heard any discussion about livery service yet. It's again a very -- all of these providers basically perform the same service. They are held to three different sets of rules and when asked earlier about the taxicabs and transportation network companies being involved in these negotiations and there are some things they liked and didn't like. Were the livery service companies involved in these discussions as well?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Not directly. Some, there is some overlap there. Though I would say to the proponent of the question, the only thing that really is dealing with liveries in this bill is Sections 8, 9, and 10, which have to do with remitting fines for municipalities in the instance where there is a gypsy cab, for lack of a better term, or a gypsy Uber, for lack of a better term about that, that the fines are admitted to municipalities; that's really the only section here that talks about liveries directly.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

And thank you for that answer. And that's actually one of my concerns is that they weren't involved in this process because again, all three of these services do this. Someone calls and asks for a service whether they use an app, whether they flag someone down or they call on the telephone or internet. A car comes and picks them up at point A, drives them to point B, and drops them off. It's the exact same service. And we have three different sets of rules for each of these, was two, now it's three, with the TNCs. And that's where my concern is. I think the TNCs have a great work model. But the fact that we have three different ways of doing this under three different sets of rules, just seems very unfair to me, and that's a concern for me.

And if I may, just one more question. Regarding the public passenger endorsement on a license and, correct me if I'm wrong, through you, Madam Speaker, that if you work for a livery company or a taxicab that you're required to get that endorsement on your license?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

And again, correct me if I'm wrong, that if you're an Uber driver, you're not required to have that endorsement?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

You know, my question would be, is there any reason why it would be a different set of circumstances when they're performing the same task?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I would just like to remind the proponent of the question that as of today, as we're standing here, all of us, there is zero regulation on the books whatsoever for Uber or Lift or any of the TNC, and so in my conversations with the cab industry, when they would come to us they would say, right now, the playing field is not even level at all because there is no regulation on the TNCs. This starts the process, as Representative O'Dea alluded to earlier, this bill is far from perfect, but I think it's a very, very, very good start in the right direction. And if, you know, working on this issue in terms of parody between liveries, taxis, and Ubers, is something that Representative Vail is interested in working on in the future, I would be more than happy to join him in that effort.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

And I appreciate that. I have no further questions. I will not be supporting this legislation today, as I do think there needs to be some more work. I admire the work that has been done, but I think we have a little bit ways to go before this creates a level playing field for all of our car service industries interest he state. So, thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? I see, Representative Srinivasan, right on his feet.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, good to see you there again. Through you, Madam Speaker, to the good proponent of the bill as amended, just a few questions.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. You had mentioned, I mean, I have been listening to this debate, which has been going on for more than a few minutes now. And you made an important comment, I just want to get an answer back from you, if possible, that there were parts of this bill; obviously, neither TNCs nor the taxis were happy with, which we all understand that always happens, but there were parts that both parties were agreeable to. And if you'd be kind enough to tell us the parts that were agreeable to, because that to me has always been a concern between A, the taxicabs and the TNCs on the other hand?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. When I first got interested in this issue, two years ago when I was a freshman in this Chamber, the idea of regulation to the TNCs was that they shouldn't be regulated; they didn't accept regulation, they didn't accept the premise of the fact that they should be regulated. They believed that they should operate independently and there was a lot of lobbying against the bill that we did pass, that Representative O'Dea alluded to in this Chamber. I think we have come a long way since then. And I think what they both agree on is the essential premise that they should be regulated in the first place.

I think they also agreed that we would, we could do some things in statute to change some of the regulations surrounding the taxicab industry. So, in Section 11 of this bill, there are a few items that the taxicab industry came to us and said, we would be able to better compete. And if the premise of what we do in this Chamber is to level the playing field so that there is fair competition, which is what I believe is our role here, I believe we did that and that was with the support of the taxi industry and the support of the TNC industry.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. So, if this bill were not to move forward, whether it be here or in the Senate or the Governor signing that; if that were not to happen, is the assumption or the feeling on the taxicab people that the regulations, the playing field is not leveled and the taxicabs are at a disadvantage?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, that is accurate. The TNCs come to the table and they do have a set of standards that they adhere to. But there is nothing in our state law that says that they have to do that. And so, they can do things, anything they want to do; whereas, our constituents in the taxi industry are governed by a set of statutes that are already on the books; 37 other states have passed similar legislation to this bill. And I think if we don't take action today, we will further expose our constituents to harmful practices that could come about should we not set this in statute today.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

And through you, Madam Speaker, my final question for the good Chair. It is my understanding that for any TNC to come forward and to move as a company in our state, their regulation fee is $ 50,000. Through you, Madam Speaker. That amount you feel -- what is the signs or the basis of coming up with that $ 50,000, which I think is a little on the tall side, and that's my concern. Thinking of opportunities that we need to provide for anybody who wants to provide the TNC, for them to come up with that $ 50,000, A, for the registration, that to me is a tall order. And through you, Madam Speaker, you know, how did we arrive at that figure?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. We arrived at that figure because we felt that was the appropriate amount that would satisfy the DOT's regulatory requirements and the obligations that we're placing upon them under this bill. We also, as my dialogue with Representative MacLachlan indicated, I don't believe personally that this is a barrier to entry. Given the amount of capital you need to start a TNC. I mean, you are paying for very expensive software. You are paying for the background checks. You are paying the insurance premiums. It requires quite a bit of capital for you to start a TNC. And we felt that $ 50,000 was an appropriate dollar figure, for lack of a better word, that would not price anybody out of a market, should they choose to have every other piece of the component together, whether it's insurance, data, all of those factors that would go into you starting a TNC business.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So, through you, Madam Speaker, as I understand clearly. If we had a new player in the field, because that's always a possibility, so what we are seeing here is for them to come into our market here in Connecticut; the registration for them would be the $ 50,000 for anybody who is interested in providing these services?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes, anybody, whether it's a big company like Uber or a new company, Scanlon TNC, both would have to pay the same amount, $ 50,000.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

And through you, Madam Speaker --

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Sorry for that. Through you, Madam Speaker. If one were to start a taxicab, maybe you could educate me on that? I'm not aware of what the registration would be if one needed to start a taxicab service?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I don't have the dollar amounts specifically in front of me. But there are obviously fees associated with doing so and start-up costs, frankly to buy the fleet of vehicles and such. But I don't have the numbers right in front of me.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker, maybe I'm not clear. I'm not talking about the start-up costs, which is very different, and that would be the $ 50,000 for Uber or any other company is not a start-up cost, is just what it costs them to register with our state. So, if one were to start a taxicab service, a Scanlon taxicab service for example, or a Srinivasan taxicab service, are you aware of what it would cost us in our state?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I am not, but I can try to find the answer to the gentleman's question.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I want to thank the good Chair for his answers. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Will you care to remark? Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And the questions that were just asked by my colleague were the questions I had. And frankly, those are the questions that concern me most about the bill. I appreciate the fact that there needs to be some regulations. I think we have come a long way to get there. And I appreciate the Chairman's response that it's not, in his opinion, an impediment to a start-up, but I think it is. I think $ 50,000 as a registration fee is a huge impediment for somebody coming in. Not so much maybe for the big boys, but certainly for young entrepreneurs out there who are looking to start up a company and get it going. And I was trying to say was it reasonable or unreasonable in my mind. And when the question was asked, which is the same question I had, well, what about a taxicab company? What's their regulation fee? Is it $ 1,000, is it $ 5,000, is it $ 50,000? Then I think if it is $ 50,000, we can say well, you know what, there are several taxicab companies out there, they're surviving, they're paying the fees, they're okay. But we have nothing to compare that to, at least at this point.

So, I think the answer to that question, at least for me and apparently for a few other of my colleagues, would be helpful to have, so we could actually have a comparison. Are we penalizing one sector of this industry versus another? And I don't have the answer to that. So, that's my concern, Madam Speaker, if we can get that, it would help me a long way going to support the bill. Without it, I'm very hesitant. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Carpino of the 32nd.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just one question, through you to the proponent. I had some questions about the background check two years ago. I remember this discussion very clearly where Representative Guerrero was kind enough to answer them. And sir, I'd like to ask you the same question. The way I read, Section 4 says that with the background check as it is listed in this bill, that if a driver has committed a very serious crime, whether it be kidnapping, whether it be murder or some other unspeakable crime, eight years ago, are they still eligible to drive?

Through you, Ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The answer to that question is, yes. And I would say to the gentlewoman who asked the question, that I too had my share of concerns about that two years ago. And I was running around this Chamber trying to get an amendment together to require fingerprint background checks, and I might have talked to you about that or some of the other colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Since that has happened, I have felt differently about that. I feel like this structure, where it's seven-year-lookback, is appropriate enough that we give people second chances, while also making sure that we're not taking foolish chances by letting those folks that continuously commit those kinds of crimes to drive an Uber vehicle. And I believe if somebody committed a crime eight years ago and they have not committed it again, we can be reasonably assured to the best that -- it's never going to be foolproof, there's never going to be 100 percent, that we can be guaranteed that we're doing the best to keep our constituents safe.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Smith, Carpino, sorry.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

I've been called much worse, Ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Well, I was a Smith before I became an Orange, so.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, and I thank the good man for his honesty. But that was my concern two years ago, and I had high hopes that that would be addressed at this point. I too have had the positive experiences with Uber. And I believe that they do need to be regulated. But unfortunately, I disagree with the good gentleman in one point. I do believe that there are some serious crimes that should not be permitted, pursuant to these background checks because hypothetically, someone could have committed that crime and been a ward of the State of Connecticut and not had an opportunity to commit that crime yet again before he or she is applying for an application to be one of these drivers.

So, although I believe that we have made great strides and I do believe that we need to regulate this industry, but I can't look my constituents or my children in the eye and tell them that we have kept them safe with this background check as it stands. Thank you, Ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Wilms.

REP. WILMS (142ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise to support this bill, as I did two years ago when Uber first came to this Chamber. I believe that Uber not only represents the future but obviously, it's the present in terms of people who take Uber, people who drive for Uber. And clearly, and Uber is spread all throughout the United States and throughout the world, and so clearly this is something that we need to address. Right now they are de-regulated here, unregulated, I should say in the state, and this is a commonsense approach to regulate those things that we do need to regulate, such as background checks and also insurance, which this bill does.

I understand that the taxi and livery industry has been way overregulated in the past and continues to this day. And so, I think certainly, I think the existence of this bill will serve as a challenge to us to continue to look for ways to, I think, deregulate that industry and hopefully bring them into a greater parody with the ridesharing industry. But again, overall, I think this -- no bill is perfect. This bill is not perfect. But this is, I think, a very good first step to provide commonsense regulation, but also to ensure that this industry continues to thrive here in our state. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further? Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, Madam Speaker, a couple of questions to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you very much. To the proponent of the bill. First off, congratulations on your stamina. You've done a great job answering the questions. I think by now I would have probably needed some help standing there. I just, my main concern, in listening to all of the debate and my main concern is the $ 50,000 question. And I'm just wondering, it really would help probably a lot of people who are questioning are we, in fact, setting up an uneven competitive field for new start-up businesses in this industry? And I get the other argument that it's good to have skin in the game and, you know, maybe you're going to get into this business, run into a few difficulties and then run in the opposite direction. So, I think, you know, the idea of making sure the figure is high enough to make sure those serious-minded people get involved in this business is, you know, maybe a good idea. But what I'm wondering is, and I haven't heard it, no one knows what the fee is for taxicab start-ups?

Through you, Madam Speaker, I'd like to ask the proponent of the bill if he has any information on the average cost of fees across the taxicab industry?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, and through the help of our amazing staff we have here helping us every day, I did discover that it's $ 2,000 for the initial application and a subsequent $ 2,000 every year for the existence of the company.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank the gentleman for his answer. That's very helpful because what it does do then is it does clearly demonstrate that the segment of the transportation industry that Uber belongs to, they get an unfair advantage, so to speak, because Uber can then limit the field of competitors by only allowing those folks that could step up with the ante to $ 50,000; whereas, the taxicab side of it, anybody with $ 2,000 and a $ 2,000 annual fee would be able to compete.

So, I'm just wondering, is there any room in this bill to negotiate that $ 50,000 fee a little further?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, one of the things that I have neglected to mention this whole time is that one of the big discussions that we've had with the taxi industry throughout this is that they in some cases want to become the TNCs themselves and that they believe that that might be the way of the future to allow their company to be diverse in the sense that they can have a traditional taxicab company and then also have a TNC to get in the game. None of them have ever objected publicly to me about the $ 50,000 entry fee and to the point that I would have been concerned that that would have priced them out.

Second, I would say that I'm in full agreement with anybody who has mentioned the fact that this is a flag for them, I get that. I would never want to stifle the growth of a company like this. And frankly, I would say that in a lot of these cases the tech economy, the new economy, these companies are founded by the people that are my own age. And I think that while $ 50,000 sounds like a lot of money, I believe if you are talented enough to have a good idea and connected enough that you can raise the start-up costs associated with starting a massive company like this, I believe the $ 50,000 fee would not be too high. And through you, Madam Speaker, I return to you. And if you could just quiet the Chamber, I'm having a little difficulty hearing. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

[Gavel] I know I'm one of the biggest offenders when I'm on the other side of this Dais, but [Laughter] if we could quiet down, Representative Scanlon is having difficulty hearing Representative Ferraro. Please continue, sir.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and again I thank the gentleman for his answer. And I appreciate what he's trying to say there, but I really have to think as a business owner myself, if my industry imposed a $ 50,000 initiation fee that was un-refundable, I think there would be a lot less people in my industry. And I think that no matter how you look at it, a non-refundable $ 50,000 fee is going to limit opportunity. And I believe that here in America, in Connecticut, we want to encourage any entrepreneur who has a desire to enter into a field and I think entering into the same industry as Uber, I'm pretty sure one company that's really happy with the fifty-dollar initiation fee is probably Uber, because they do realize that the difficulty of future competitors coming into their industry would be limited. And believe it or not, I was just passed a message that said other states have such high fees.

Again, that may be true, but I'm talking about our state, Connecticut, I'm talking about providing opportunities to our entrepreneurs and I believe the opportunities that we provide for our state should be inclusive and not exclusionary. And this is a real problem for me and I really would like to see this bill, at least this area, because everything else in the bill I really think is a great idea. I like the idea that we're regulating an unregulated industry because I have had personal contact with taxicab drivers in the past who were very, very upset with the lack of regulation on Uber.

So, I think this is a great first attempt, but this one troublesome area for me, the limitation of anybody who would want to get into this field, to me strikes a negative chord and it's very difficult for me to support the bill under those circumstances. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Will you care to remark? If not, staff and guests, please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open.

CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber. The House of Representatives is voting by roll, members to the Chamber.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Please check the board to determine if your vote is properly cast. If so, the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. And would the Clerk please announce that tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 7126, as Amended by House A.

Total Number of Voting 142

Necessary for Passage 72

Those Voting Yea 103

Those Voting Nay 39

Absent and Not Voting 9

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The bill as amended is passed. [Gavel]

Are there any announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions? Representative Butler of the 72nd, you have the floor.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, it's good to see you up there today.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

It's always a pleasure to see you, too, Larry.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

I rise for purposes of an introduction.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. With me today, it gives me great pleasure to introduce my intern for this session, Zoe Gluck. I am so proud to have the opportunity to introduce her to our Chambers because she did a great job this session. She wasn't able to take part in the day that we actually recognized all our interns because she was working on her thesis, actually a presentation on the achievement gap here in the State of Connecticut, which is a very worthy goal to actually make a presentation on. But I can tell you that besides the research that she's done and all the help that she's done with bills, anybody who has had a chance to read some of our reports on the housing bills, I can tell you, she's played so much a role in helping our Committee with our work and research that I'm really proud of her. And in closing, I'd just like to share with the Chamber that she is so involved in civics that someday I hope to have her as some elected official representing somebody because I would be more than glad to have her represent me. She is so civically competent that I hope someday she will become an elected official. But again, I'd just like to introduce her and hope that my fellow members actually give her our usual warm welcome. Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you and thank you for being here with us and certainly I'm sure it was a pleasure to work with Representative Butler.

Are there any further announcements or introductions? Representative McGee, you have the floor, sir.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good afternoon.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Just wondering if you're still up there. Speaker, I rise for the purpose of an announcement.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

On behalf of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, our Chairperson, Chris Rosario and myself, I wanted to remind all of us in this Chamber about the Black and Latin, Puerto Rican Caucus' Spring Fling tonight at 5 p. m. , at Red Rock Tavern, which is right across from the legislative office building. The Spring Fling is held every single year to support the Wilford X. Johnson Scholarship Fund. And I would be remiss if I didn't thank all of you in this Chamber for your support; over the years we have been able to give out thousands of dollars to local youth here in the State of Connecticut and it's because of your generosity here in this Chamber and folks out there in the hallway and in the gallery that support our efforts.

So, again, I ask that you all please come out and support the Spring Fling. You can purpose your tickets at Red Rock. If not, feel free to make a donation. Again, thank you so much for all of your support. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. [Applause] The Chamber will stand at ease, please. And the Chamber will come back to order, please.

And would the Clerk please call Calendar No. 333.

CLERK:

On page 25, House Calendar 333, Substitute House Bill No. 6012, AN ACT CONCERNING CONSUMER PROTECTION IN EYE CARE. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Public Health.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Chair, good to see you again. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and movement of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair. This bill is a consumer protection bill, intended to make sure that those who order contact lenses online have a valid prescription to protect them in the use of a device that goes directly on the eye. This does not include eye glasses, but is limited to contact lenses. The background is, there is a new technology being used by some online contact lense manufacturers, which provides an online sort of test, which they suggest is sufficient to confirm a prescription that might have been provided directly by an ophthalmologist. There is some concern that this is a new technology and not proven, not endorsed by the FDA and that it is perhaps not as valid as a measure, as a face-to-face prescription would be.

The Clerk is in the possession of an amendment LCO, I believe, 6725, no. Bear with us for a moment. 6882; I ask that it be called.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6882, which will be designated as House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A, LCO No. 6882, offered by Representative Candelora, Representative Steinberg, Senator Gerratana, Representative Srinivasan, Senator Somers, Representative Borer, Representative Ryan.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This amendment strikes section sub (c) of the underlying bill, which had specific and prescriptive language on initial prescriptions and renewals. So, therefore, the bill was simplified and leaves the discretion on the renewals to the prescribing physician. I move acceptance.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is on adoption of House Amendment A. Will you care to remark on House Amendment A? If not, let me try your minds. All of those in favor of House A, please say, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

(All) Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

All those opposed, nay.

The ayes do have it. [Gavel] The amendment is adopted. Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

I move passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

As amended.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

As amended.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will you care to remark on the bill as amended? Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, good afternoon, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good afternoon.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker, a few questions to the proponent of the bill as amended for the purpose of clarification.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, through you, Madam Speaker. So, as I understand this bill amended, the initial prescription for a contact lense, for a pair of contact lenses will need a face-to-face visit with the provider?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The initial renewal of the prescription, which will happen in a year, that also will need a face-to-face with the provider?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

That is correct.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. As it happens quite frequently, contact lenses get lost, misplaced. So, after the initial visit where obviously, there is a face-to-face, but a year has not gone by and the person needs to get a new pair of contact lenses because of loss, damage, whatever you call that. In that case, within the year, to the first one you already had a face-to-face, can they use one of these services or do they still need a face-to-face?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. My understanding is as long as the prescription is valid, then they reorder the contact lenses.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. After the initial prescription renewed, which happens in one year after the first prescription, then what happens, through you, Madam Speaker, moving forward beyond the first renewal?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. My understanding is it's the discretion of the physician on the renewal of that prescription, under which then additional contact lenses could be ordered. We are not stipulating a specific period for that new prescription, but I understand from federal law, it cannot be for less than one year.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Maybe because of the background noise I couldn't hear that clearly. So, after the first year of initial prescription renewal; so, the first prescription is face-to-face, one year has gone by, it's another face-to-face, what happens year two and onwards?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. It's at the discretion of the physician to renew that prescription and for the period of time under federal law, it must be a minimum of one year. But the state will not explicitly stipulate the length of that renewal prescription.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. So, after the first renewal, if there is no specific stipulation from the provider, whether it be an ophthalmologist or an optometrist, if there is no specific stipulation, could the consumer then go and use one of these devices to order a new pair of lenses?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. To be clear, the reordering of contact lenses would still be subject to the length of that prescription, which might be one year or might be longer, but that would be at the doctor's discretion. So, again, a reorder could only occur if the prescription is valid based upon the doctor's orders in that regard.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Then putting it simply as I understand it, if the physician's order says that this prescription is good for two years, then for the next year after the first renewal they do not need a face-to-face and they can go ahead and order it, order the contact lenses?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, that is my understanding.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

And through you, Madam Speaker. My final question will be the decision of the healthcare provider, if the medical condition warrants more frequent visits and that the lenses may not even be renewed up to a whole year. So, that decision is still with the hands of the optometrist, ophthalmologist or the healthcare provider; let's say a person has diabetes, the person has glaucoma and in that case, through you, Madam Speaker, will that still be in the hands of the healthcare provider?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just to be clear, there is a difference between the length of the prescription for the contact lenses and the doctor's orders for the patient to return for the frequency of the exams depending upon underlying conditions. So, the prescription must be for at least one year, but the doctor certainly has discretion to give instructions to the patient as to when they need to see them again.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I do want to thank the good Chairman for his answers. This is a bill, like the previous one, which we just talked about; it talks about consumers, it talks about public safety, it talks about protection. And when you are putting something in your eyes, Madam Speaker, as the contact lenses, we need to make sure that those prescriptions are authorized by people who have been trained and qualified to say that this prescription is valid for a year or whatever they decide. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? The esteemed Representative from the 139th District, Representative Kevin Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I just want to get up and agree with what Representative Srinivasan said about this bill. It's a very important bill for the basic ideas of good healthcare regarding your eyes. A lot of folks think contact lenses are just a consumer item. They are actually a medical device that is being placed on your eye. It can have very different effects on different eyes and it's a good idea to have your eyes checked. Even though the prescription may work, you might want to be assured that the integrity of the eyes being maintained with the contact lenses placed on your eyes. Typically, you do get a pair of contact lenses and have them evaluated by a doctor, optometrist, ophthalmologist in your office to ensure that they are fitted properly, not causing any type of damage. You also want to make sure the long-term wearing of the contact lense doesn't in any way, shape, or form, in a manner of speaking, effect the eye. Just seeing well with contact lenses isn't really enough. There are a lot of other things that could be going on. That's why it's important to have eyes checked on a regular basis. In the majority of cases, your eyes will probably be fine, but you still have to be careful for those particular cases where injuries could be caused to the eye by the contact lenses, which is why it's important to have regular visits to ensure that that's not happening. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the bill before us? Will you care to remark further? Representative Sam Belsito, good afternoon, sir.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker, nice to see you up there; you're looking well today, very good.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

I think you have to see your optometrist or ophthalmologist, sir. [Laughter]

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

That is why I'm speaking today. I recommend -- this bill is a good bill. I am very much for new innovations insofar as eye examinations and whatever goes. But the eyes are so important that you really should see an optometrist or ophthalmologist before you get your contacts made, if you're wearing contacts or even glasses. But I want to say this is a good bill and it ought to pass. Thank you very much. Thank you for the compliment, but my eyes are really good. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the bill? Representative William Petit, you have the floor, sir.

REP. PETIT (22ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I just rise in support of this bill. I thank my ranking member and the Chairman for work on this. As a freshman legislator, it's interesting to see for a bill of such brevity how many conferences, emails, and phone calls have been going on for four-and-a-half months, but we actually finally got the optometrist and ophthalmologist to agree, which is somewhat akin to herding cats; so, we're very pleased with the final end product and I urge my colleagues to support the bill. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further? Representative Kokoruda.

REP. KOKORUDA (101ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I also stand in support of this bill and I agree with what's been said about the bill. And I think it's an important bill and I really want to thank the Committee. I do have one question, though. If a family has insurance that they can only get one, through you, Madam Speaker, can only get one eye exam a year every other year, how would that work with them the second year of that, if their insurance doesn't cover them having -- pardon me -- their insurance doesn't cover them getting an eye exam every year; how would that work with them as far as being able to go online with an annual prescription?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair, that's a very interesting question. It is an insurance question. I do not know.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Kokoruda.

REP. KOKORUDA (101ST):

All right. Well, thank you, Madam Speaker. We will certainly, you know, look into that. It might be of some concern. But in this day, that everyone is ordering things online, as has been pointed out by many, the safety of our citizens is important and I think what the intention of this bill is exactly what we all should support. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I also rise in support of the bill. The one thing that I didn't hear mentioned as a good reason for this bill is that the majority of corneal infections take place in the eye by people who wear contacts, improperly store them. So, having a yearly visit to the eye doctor would be very helpful in preventing many of those infections.

So, thank you very much, and through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Vinnie Candelora, good afternoon.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, good afternoon, although it feels like evening. If I may, just a quick question to the proponent?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I know in that bill we define what an initial prescription is. And in Section B we have language here that states that “No provider shall issue an initial prescription to or renew an initial prescription. ” And I was wondering if the good Representative could just explain what the phrase “renew an initial prescription” for a patient means?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair, thank you, Representative for that question. It's meant to indicate the first prescription after the initial prescription. To be clear, a doctor makes the initial prescription. It is when that prescription expires that the patient returns to see the doctor and that prescription at that point is the first renewal.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate that answer. And I just want to thank the Chairman of the Public Health Committee and our Ranking Member and all of the other people that have worked on this bill. I think in the long run this is an important patient-care issue. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the bill before us? My good seatmate, Representative Perone.

REP. PERONE (137TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, and thank you to my good colleague, for jumping out of the way. Just through you, I have a couple of questions to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. PERONE (137TH):

Just the idea of the technology, the online refracting technology; is this, how far along in its life history is this technology and has it been tested, has it been peer reviewed? I just want to understand that as this was a component of the bill before and I just want to know what the current status of the technology is; if you have an input on that?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair. That's an excellent question. I would have to say that there are several different versions of this technology out there. And it's not simply a matter of the differences in the technology, it's also differences in how each company's protocol for dealing with the technology and involving other parties in making decisions vary from one provider of these contact lenses to the other. There is no standard. The FDA has neither endorsed the technology or any specific protocol and part of the reason for this bill is that we assume, consumers may assume that they're all valid and all equally worthy of protecting their safety and we're not sure the technology has advanced that far because we don't have any such reassurances from the authorities.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Perone.

REP. PERONE (137TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, when I hear about technology like this. The first thing I start to think about is certainly the quality and capability of people's systems at home that are using this. If they are going to use this technology to do an exam and to basically give themselves the kind of input they need to follow up with their physician or to enable, you know, an online purpose; did any of that come up in the debate in the Committee?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

I'm sorry, Madam Chair, there was a little chatter in the room. Could the good Representative repeat the question, please?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

I don't think there is any chatter. Do you think, Representative Perone, you could be a little louder like your seat mate?

REP. PERONE (137TH):

I could be louder, thank you. [Laughter]

Basically, I just wanted to get a better sense of because there are multiple players in the market, are there, is basically by virtue of, you know, consumers, you know, access to different kinds of laptops, desktops, that kind of thing, is there, is there. Is the door open for more subjectivity when it's done at home versus when it's done, you know, in a clinic?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Again, an excellent question. People are using their mobile phones to take this test. As you might imagine, that's a very different circumstance than having a person-to-person exam in an ophthalmologist's office. There are not only differences in obviously the quality, the resolution. A physician is in a better position to evaluate beyond the simple test to check for other potential underlying diseases or problems, which you would never be able to accomplish in an online format.

Through you.

REP. PERONE (137TH):

Okay. Thank you very much. And those are all the questions I have. I just, my own issue is, you know, sort of comes down to this is that this does seem like a possible and certainly very positive technology that it would be great for consumers to have access to. I think that all things being equal in terms of how online examinations correlate to, you know, in-clinic visitations with physicians, you know, what the data has to say on that, I'd be very interested to know, but I probably don't have but four minutes to figure all that out. So, you know, I'm just going to listen to the rest of the debate. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the bill before us? Representative Candelaria, you have the floor, sir.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just a quick question to the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Thank you, Madam. Just for my own clarification. If I wear contact lenses and I have to do my initial assessment, but I use a third-party vendor for my contact lenses. At what particular point can I contact my third-party vendor to order my six-month supply of contact lenses?

Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair, through you. You can reorder your contact lenses at any time under which you have a valid prescription.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelaria.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Through you, Madam Chair. Am I to understand that the prescription lasts one year then expires after that one year; can I contact my third-party vendor and order my six-month supply of contact lenses?

Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Madam Chair, through you. No, you would be obliged to have your prescription renewed first by your prescribing physician before you could reorder contact lenses.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelaria.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

And through you, Madam Chair. So, that means that in order for me to order my contacts through the third-party vendor, I will have to get an exam every year, a physical assessment every year before I can go to the third-party vendor or does it phase out after the second initial assessment?

Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, through you. My understanding is that it's at the doctor's discretion when renewing the prescription as to the term of that, but it must be a minimum of one year, according to federal law. This bill does not, as amended, does not comment on the length of that prescription on the first renewal or in subsequent renewals.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelaria.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Through you, Madam Chair. So, for purposes of intent, is it my understanding that after the second initial assessment, based on the discretion of the provider, I can continue to get my contacts through my third-party vendor?

Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair, through you. There is nothing in this bill that would forbid an individual to continue to order contact lenses through an online provider.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelaria.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

And through you, one more time again. So, nothing precludes me from going to a third-party vendor, but do I still have to go every year for the initial assessment or there is a time where I do not need to go to that initial assessment? Because I understand, you know, we're talking about getting exams for lenses, it's not covered 100 percent by the insurance company. So, people have to come out of pocket for this. So, there is a cost. And I understand the importance of having healthy eyes, which I totally understand and support. But my question is again, is there a point where I don't need to get an assessment and still get my contacts; let's assume my prescription expired after the second year. Getting two full eye assessments, can I, although the prescription has expired, get contacts through a third-party vendor?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, I'm sorry, I'll have to ask the good Representative to repeat the question. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelaria, would you repeat your question?

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

If I get two consecutive initial eye assessments, one year after the other, can I renew, although my prescription has expired, going on the third year, my prescription expired; can I just get a renewal third party, not a renewal, but at least get my contacts through a third-party vendor without getting a third assessment?

Through you, Madam Speaker

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. No, you could only renew an order for contact lenses under a valid prescription.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelaria.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

So, through you, Madam Chair. So, consistently you have to get an eye examination every time, every year you'll have to get an eye examination before I can get contacts through a third-party vendor? If I'm understanding that correctly.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Madam Chair, through you. The initial prescription has a one-year expiration. The patient returns to the doctor at that point. The doctor may issue a second prescription for no less than one year at that point in time and orders can only be made as long as that prescription is valid and has not expired.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelaria.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Madam Chair, I thank the gentleman for those answers. So, thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further? Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, it's nice to see you up there. I too had some questions for the proponent, if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

We've been hearing about an expiration date of one year. And looking at the bill, can you just tell me where the expiration date appears?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Thank you for the question, it's a good question. The bill, as proposed and as amended, does not stipulate a period of time. The federal law stipulates a minimum of one year for a prescription period. So, that is the underlying law, even if it's not specifically stipulated in the bill.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you. So, there is no expiration in effect, under federal law nor under this language. It's the minimum period of time that the prescription is good for is the only thing that we are left with?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

That was you?

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Okay. Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Hi, Madam Speaker. I'm not sure I understood the question. If the good Representative wouldn't mind repeating it; through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein, would you mind repeating?

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, I'll rephrase. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

So, if I have an examination done today and I get the prescription, the minimum amount of time that it is good for is one year, but there is no expiration on that prescription, is my understand?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair, Madam Speaker. I'm a little confused. When you say, “good for” and “expiration,” that's the same thing in this case. So, that the physician indicates the period of time for which the prescription is good for before it expires. So, I think we're talking the same thing.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Perhaps I'll rephrase my question in a different fashion. I get the prescription today. Can I use it three years thereafter?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm not a physician, I'm in no position to give you permission to do it for three years. You would have to direct that to the prescribing physician in the first place.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, just, and I have worn contact lenses in the past, so I, you know. At the time of the initial getting of the prescription that analyzer, optometrist, whatever they are, is supposed to state at that time how good it's for? Is that what I am to understand?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. My understanding is in the industry on an initial prescription it is almost always good for one year because the physician would like to see the patient again, particularly for a new contact lens. So, to your point, it is to some degree at the discretion of the physician, but standard practice would be one year at expiration.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, just to be clear, while that might be the practice, there is no law that makes a prescription for contact lenses expire; that is totally discretionary to the provider?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. My understanding is it must be a minimum of one year, so there is law with, related to the minimum. But we, typically it's at the discretion of the physician to determine the length of that prescription and they often prefer to see the patient frequently, perhaps as often as one year. But again, I can't speak for the entire industry.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Okay. Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, just so that we're clear, what we're doing today is we are not mandating any expiration?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, through you, that is correct.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, I'm good. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Okay. Will you remark further on the bill before us, as amended? Will you care to remark further on the bill before us, as amended? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open.

CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber. The House of Representatives is voting by roll, members to the Chamber.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Have all the members voted?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Please check the board to determine if your vote has been properly cast and if so, the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. And will the Clerk please announce that tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 6012, as Amended by House A.

Total Number of Voting 142

Necessary for Passage 72

Those Voting Yea 142

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 9

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The bill as amended passes. [Gavel] Would the Clerk please call Calendar No. 483?

CLERK:

House Calendar 483, on page 42. Substitute Senate Bill No. 976, AN ACT CONCERNING CONSERVATOR ACCOUNTABILITY. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative William Tong, you have the floor, sir.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. TONG (147TH):

How's Colchester today?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Colchester is great.

REP. TONG (147TH):

That's great to hear. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report in concurrence with the Senate. Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Clerk has an amendment, LCO No. 6616. I ask for the Clerk to please call the amendment and I be given leave of the Chamber to provide a summary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO No. 6166.

REP. TONG (147TH):

6616, I apologize if I misspoke.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

It's probably my fault, everything is.

REP. TONG (147TH):

A lot of sixes in that number.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO No. 6616, previously designated as Senate A. Thank you.

CLERK:

Senate Amendment Schedule A, LCO No 6616, offered by Senator Doyle, Senator Kissel, Representative Tong, Representative Rebimbas, and Representative Stafstrom.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

The gentleman seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize. Is there objection? Hearing none, Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment simply pushes the effective date of the bill out to July 1, 2018, to give the Probate Court Administrator and the Probate Court Assembly time to develop the standards and guidelines related to conservators called for under the underlying bill, which I'll explain after the amendment. I urge adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. The question before the Chamber is on adoption. And would you care to remark? The esteemed Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I would like to remark. And my remarks are that I am in support of the Senate Amendment that's before us now today, for the reasons that the good Chairman had indicated. And we want to make sure that the date is far out enough to allow not only for the development of these standards, but also to make sure that that information gets out to all the conservators so they know exactly what they are going to be auditing on. And I'll reserve my further comments for the underlying bill once the amendment passes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Would you care to remark on the amendment before us, Senate Amendment A? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor for Senate Amendment A, please signify by saying, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

(All) Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

All those opposed, nay.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. [Gavel] Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The bill does principally two things. In our state, we have a process by which a probate court can appoint a conservator to care for persons who are incapacitated, unable to care for themselves. Right now, those conservators who care for the financial affairs of a conservator person are required to file reports. Those reports are reviewed, but not often audited. This provides for the probate court to order random audits of an account that has not been approved. We think that's an important measure to protect people who are cared for by somebody else under a conservatorship.

The second thing that the bill does is it provides for standards of practice for conservators. We don't have a standard of practice in place here in this state, so it sets forth guidelines on how a conservator is to discharge their fiduciary duties. And for those reasons, I think this is an important bill to protect people who cannot take care of themselves and protect themselves and frankly is overdue. I urge support for the measure. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in support of the bill as amended that's before us. I want to take the opportunity also to thank the Probate Court Assembly, Probate Court Administration for bringing this to our attention. And it's not very often that an actual department brings something to our attention and actually takes the responsibility to want to address it. So, I want to commend them for that. And just for some clarifications, through you, Madam Speaker, a few questions.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed, Madam.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you. Through you, Madam Speaker. Once the Probate Court determines the standards that are required by conservators and they then request an audit of those accounts, who will be responsible for paying for the fees associated with the audit?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That goes through the Probate Court Administration Fund.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I wanted to make sure to highlight that because, in fact, the individual that's being audited is not going to be financially responsible; and I think that's actually a huge component here because it's actually the Probate Court Administration that's going to be funding these audits, but yet the benefit will be for the conserved person to make sure that that conservator, whether voluntary or involuntary is handling their finances appropriately. And I think it's a wonderful piece of legislation that we have and again, I want to commend the Judiciary Committee for making this happen out of Committee and certainly for Probate Court for bringing us to this attention. So, I do rise in strong support of the legislation before us.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Will you care to remark? If not, staff and guests, please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open.

CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber. The House of Representatives is voting by roll, members to the Chamber.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted, please check the board to ensure your vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked. The Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will announce the tally.

CLERK:

Senate Bill 976, as Amended by Senate A, in concurrence with the Senate.

Total Number of Voting 141

Necessary for Passage 71

Those Voting Yea 141

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 10

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The bill passes in concurrence. [Gavel] Will the Clerk please call House Calendar 317.

CLERK:

On page 24, House Calendar 316, Substitute House Bill No. 7106, AN ACT CONCERNING AUDIT REPORTS FILED WITH THE PUBLIC UTILITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITY. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy and Technology.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Reed of the 102nd, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. REED (102ND):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Reed, you have the floor.

REP. REED (102ND):

Thank you, again, Mr. Speaker. The Clerk has an amendment, LCO 6941. I request that he be asked to call it and I be allowed to summarize.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. Will the Clerk please call LCO No. 6941, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A, LCO No. 6941, offered by Representative Hoydick, Representative Reed, Senator Winfield, Senator Formica.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Seeing none, Representative Reed.

REP. REED (102ND):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill is designed to reduce redundancy and to eliminate some considerable expenditures required for an annual audit that telephone companies must admit to PURA, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. PURA has come together with the companies. There is an agreement that they will accept the parent companies audit and I move for passage.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. Will you remark further? Representative Hoydick of the 120th, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I saw the yawn, by the way, a lot of people feel that way when we talk about energy bills. Through you, Mr. Speaker. I just want to clarify, we're talking on the amendment?

Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the proponent?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Yes.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Okay. A couple of questions to the proponent of the bill about the amendment.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Reed, please prepare yourself. Representative Hoydick, please proceed, Madam.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

May I interrupt for a second. I should have moved for adoption of the amendment.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

I believe you did, Madam.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

I did, okay. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just want to clarify; the amendment is talking about the audit being specific to the company that holds 75,000 customers or more. So, that would be in our case, currently Frontier.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Reed.

REP. REED (102ND):

Yes, through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, Frontier is the biggest landline owner now in the State of Connecticut. So, it's Frontier.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I concur with the gentlewoman, the Chairwoman, that this is a good amendment and it should be included as part of the bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor, please signify by saying, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

(All) Aye.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Those opposed, nay. The ayes have it. [Gavel] The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, staff and guests, please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open.

CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber. The House of Representatives is voting by roll, members to the Chamber.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted, please check the board to ensure your vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked. The Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 7106, as Amended by House A.

Total Number of Voting 140

Necessary for Passage 71

Those Voting Yea 140

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 11

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The bill passes as amended. [Gavel] The Chamber will stand at ease. The House will come back to order. [Gavel]

Are there any announcements or introductions? The esteemed Majority Leader, Representative Ritter of the 1st District, you have the floor, sir.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and it looks like we're going to wrap up our day today and we have some exciting events tonight, including the Annual Spring Fling, which should be very fun, and I hope we'll see everybody there.

Just for next week, for purposes of everyone's planning, we know for sure that we will be in Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And then we always have to leave open the possibility of other days, depending on how much business we can achieve. I hope everyone has a great Friday and a great weekend. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Are there any other announcements or introductions? Representative Soto of the 39th District, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SOTO (39TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise for the purpose of an announcement.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SOTO (39TH):

Mr. Speaker, and for all our colleagues in the Chamber, just a reminder that we have an Appropriations Committee meeting tomorrow, Caucus at 10: 00 and meeting at 12: 30, Room 2(c). Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Are there other announcements or introductions? Representative McGee of the 5th District, you now have the floor, sir.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, good afternoon.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Mr. Speaker, I have a special request. And that is, I'd like for this Chamber to stand with myself and the City of Bridgeport and our very own Representative Christopher Rosario, who lost his cousin a few days ago in Bridgeport, and his name is Jayson Negron. And so, if we can all just take at least a couple of seconds, a moment of silence to think about all of our children that have been either killed or what have you as a result of violence in many of our communities. So, if we can all just stand together, a moment of silence, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Yes, we can. If we can have a moment of silence, please. [Silence] [Gavel]

Thank you, Representative McGee.

Representative Piscopo of the 76th District, you have the floor, sir.

REP. PISCOPO (76TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For a Journal notation.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed.

REP. PISCOPO (76TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Will the Journal please note that Representative Frey missed votes out of state on legislative business. Representative Pavalock missed votes, funeral services in their district. Representative Labriola, business in the district. And Representative LeGeyt family matters. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you, sir. The Journal will so note. Representative Hilda Santiago of the 84th District, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. SANTIAGO (84TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to make the Journal notations for the day. In-district business is, Representative Berger, Conley, Fleischmann, Joe Serra, and Representative Lopes. Representatives that were ill were, Representative Dillon, Morris, and Gonzalez. And Representative Urban was out on personal business. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. The Journal will so note. Representative Soto, the second time, is he up there? Representative Rosario of the 128th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. ROSARIO (128TH):

I rise for the purpose of an announcement.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed.

REP. ROSARIO (128TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to invite everybody to join us for the Black & Puerto Rican Caucus Spring Fling tonight at the Red Rock Tavern. It's going to be a good time. We look forward to seeing you all there. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Rosario, you know how I like my food. Do you know what's on the menu?

REP. ROSARIO (128TH):

A little bit of everything, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will you remark further? Any other announcements or introductions? Mr. Clerk, is there any business on the Clerk's desk?

CLERK:

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Communications from the Governor, judicial nominations.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move that we refer those to Judiciary.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

So ordered. Are there any other announcements or introductions? I believe the Majority Leader's mic is live, Counselor Butler, Baltimore. Representative Albis of the 99th.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I believe the Clerk has a list of bills to be referred to other committees. I move that we waive the reading of the list of bills and they be referred to the committees indicated.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

So ordered. Representative Albis, you still have the floor.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Now I do, yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There being no further business on the Clerk's desk, I move that we adjourn, subject to the Call of the Chair.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Without objection, we are adjourned. [Gavel]

(On motion of Representative Albis of the 99th District, the House adjourned at 3: 55 o'clock p. m. , sine die. )

CERTIFICATE

I hereby certify that the foregoing 239 pages is a complete and accurate transcription of a digital sound recording of the House Proceedings on May 11, 2017.

I further certify that the digital sound recording was transcribed by the word processing department employees of Alpha Transcription, under my direction.

________________________

Alpha Transcription

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